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Title: R.U.R. (Rossum's Universal Robots) - A Fantastic Melodrama in Three Acts and an Epilogue
Author: Čapek, Karel
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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  _R. U. R._

  (ROSSUM’S UNIVERSAL ROBOTS)

  _A Fantastic Melodrama in Three Acts and
  an Epilogue_

  _By Karel Capek_

  _English version by
  Paul Selver and Nigel Playfair_

  [Illustration]

  Samuel French, Inc.



Copyright ©, 1923, by Doubleday, Page and Company

_ALL RIGHTS RESERVED_

_CAUTION: Professionals and amateurs are hereby warned that R. U. R.
is subject to a royalty. It is fully protected under the copyright
laws of the United States of America, the British Commonwealth,
including Canada, and all other countries of the Copyright Union. All
rights, including professional, amateur, motion pictures, recitation,
lecturing, public reading, radio broadcasting, television, and the
rights of translation into foreign languages are strictly reserved. In
its present form the play is dedicated to the reading public only._

_R. U. R. may be given stage presentation by amateurs upon payment
of a royalty of Thirty-five Dollars for the first performance, and
Twenty-five Dollars for each additional performance, payable one week
before the date when the play is given, to Samuel French, Inc., at 45
West 25th Street, New York, N. Y. 10010, or at 7623 Sunset Boulevard,
Hollywood, Calif. 90046, or to Samuel French (Canada), Ltd., 80
Richmond Street East, Toronto, Ontario, Canada M5C 1P1._

_Royalty of the required amount must be paid whether the play is
presented for charity or gain and whether or not admission is charged._

_Stock royalty quoted on application to Samuel French, Inc._

_For all other rights than those stipulated above, apply to Samuel
French, Inc._

_Particular emphasis is laid on the question of amateur or professional
readings, permission and terms for which must be secured in writing
from Samuel French, Inc._

_Copying from this book in whole or in part is strictly forbidden by
law, and the right of performance is not transferable._

_Whenever the play is produced the following notice must appear on all
arrangement with Samuel French, Inc.”_

_Due authorship credit must be given on all programs, printing and
advertising for the play._

  Anyone presenting the play shall not commit or authorize any act or
  omission by which the copyright of the play or the right to copyright
  same may be impaired.

  No changes shall be made in the play for the purpose of your
  production unless authorized in writing.

  The publication of this play does not imply that it is necessarily
  available for performance by amateurs or professionals. Amateurs and
  professionals considering a production are strongly advised in their
  own interests to apply to Samuel French, Inc., for consent before
  starting rehearsals, advertising, or booking a theatre or hall.

Printed in U.S.A.

ISBN 0 573 61497 0



R. U. R.

STORY OF THE PLAY


The play is laid on an island somewhere on our planet, and on this
island is the central office of the factory of Rossum’s Universal
Robots. “Robot” is a Czech word meaning “worker.” When the play opens,
a few decades beyond the present day, the factory had turned out
already, following a secret formula, hundreds of thousands, and even
millions, of manufactured workmen, living automats, without souls,
desires or feelings. They are high-powered laborers, good for nothing
but work. There are two grades, the unskilled and the skilled, and
especially trained workmen are furnished on request.

When Helena Glory, president of the Humanitarian League, comes
to ascertain what can be done to improve the condition of those
overspecialized creatures, Harry Domin, the general manager of the
factory, captures her heart and hand in the speediest courting on
record in our theatre. The last two acts take place ten years later.
Due to the desire of Helena to have the Robots more like human beings,
Dr. Gall, the head of the physiological and experimental departments,
has secretly changed the formula, and while he has partially humanized
only a few hundreds, there are enough to make ringleaders, and a world
revolt of robots is under way. This revolution is easily accomplished,
as robots have long since been used when needed as soldiers and the
robots far outnumber human beings.

The rest of the play is magnificent melodrama, superbly portrayed,
with the handful of human beings at bay while the unseen myriads of
their own robots close in on them. The final scene is like Dunsany on a
mammoth scale.

Then comes the epilogue, in which Alquist, the company’s builder, is
not only the only human being on the island, but also the only one
left on earth. The robots have destroyed the rest of mankind. They
spared his life because he was a worker. And he is spending his days
unceasingly endeavoring to discover and reconstruct the lost formula.
The robots are doomed. They saved the wrong man. They should have
spared the company’s physicist. The robots know that their bodies
will wear out in time and there will be no new multitudes of robots
to replace them. But Alquist discovers two humanized robots, a young
man and young woman, who have a bit of Adam and Eve in them, and the
audience perceives that mankind is about to start afresh. Nature has
won out, after all.



The cast of the Theatre Guild Production as originally presented at the
Garrick Theatre, New York:

R. U. R.

(ROSSUM’S UNIVERSAL ROBOTS)

_By_ KAREL CAPEK

English version by Paul Selver and Nigel Playfair

Staged by Philip Moeller

Settings and Costumes by Lee Simonson


CHARACTERS (in order of appearance)

  HARRY DOMIN, _General Manager of Rossum’s Universal
      Robots_                                             _Basil Sydney_

  SULLA, _a Robotess_                                   _Mary Bonestell_

  MARIUS, _a Robot_                                   _Myrtland LaVarre_

  HELENA GLORY                                      _Kathlene MacDonell_

  DR. GALL, _head of the Physiological and Experimental
      Department of R. U. R._                        _William Devereaux_

  MR. FABRY, _Engineer General, Technical Controller of
      R. U. R._                                           _John Anthony_

  DR. HALLEMEIER, _head of the Institute for Psychological
      Training of Robots_                              _Moffat Johnston_

  MR. ALQUIST, _Architect, head of the Works Department
      of R. U. R._                                       _Louis Calvert_

  CONSUL BUSMAN, _General Manager of R. U. R._           _Henry Travers_

  NANA                                                    _Helen Westly_

  RADIUS, _a Robot_                                    _John Rutherford_

  HELENA, _a Robotess_                                       _Mary Hone_

  PRIMUS, _a Robot_                                         _John Roche_

  A SERVANT                                             _Frederick Mark_

  FIRST ROBOT                                             _Domis Plugge_

  SECOND ROBOT                                        _Richard Coolidge_

  THIRD ROBOT                                           _Bernard Savage_


ACT I

Central Office of the Factory of Rossum’s Universal Robots

ACT II

HELENA’S Drawing Room--Ten years later. Morning

ACT III

The same. Afternoon

EPILOGUE

A Laboratory. One year later

Place: An Island.      Time: The Future.



DESCRIPTION OF CHARACTERS

  DOMIN: _A handsome man of 35. Forceful, efficient and humorous at
  times._

  SULLA: _A pathetic figure. Young, pretty and attractive._

  MARIUS: _A young Robot, superior to the general run of his kind.
  Dressed in modern clothes._

  HELENA GLORY: _A vital, sympathetic, handsome girl of 21._

  DR. GALL: _A tall, distinguished scientist of 50._

  MR. FABRY: _A forceful, competent engineer of 40._

  HALLEMEIER: _An impressive man of 40. Bald head and beard._

  ALQUIST: _A stout, kindly old man of 60._

  NANA: _A tall, acidulous woman of 40._

  RADIUS: _A tall, forceful Robot._

  HELENA: _A radiant young woman of 20._

  PRIMUS: _A good-looking young Robot._


  NOTE: _All the Robots wear expressionless faces and move with
  absolute mechanical precision, with the exception of_ SULLA, HELENA
  _and_ PRIMUS, _who convey a touch of humanity._



R. U. R.



ACT ONE

SCENE: _Central office of the factory of Rossum’s Universal Robots.
  Entrance R. down Right. The windows on the back wall look out on
  the endless roads of factory buildings. Door L. down Left. On the
  Left wall large maps showing steamship and railroad routes. On the
  Right wall are fastened printed placards. (“Robots cheapest Labor,”
  etc.) In contrast to these wall fittings, the floor is covered with
  splendid Turkish carpet, a couch R.C. A book shelf containing bottles
  of wine and spirits, instead of books._

  _DOMIN is sitting at his desk at Left, dictating. SULLA is at the
  typewriter upstage against the wall. There is a leather couch with
  arms Right Center. At the extreme Right an armchair. At extreme
  Left a chair. There is also a chair in front of DOMIN’S desk. Two
  green cabinets across the upstage corners of the room complete the
  furniture. DOMIN’S desk is placed up and down stage facing Right._

  _Seen through the windows which run to the heights of the room are
  rows of factory chimneys, telegraph poles and wires. There is a
  general passageway or hallway upstage at the Right Center which leads
  to the warehouse. The ROBOTS are brought into the office through
  this entrance._


DOMIN. (_Dictating_) Ready?

SULLA. Yes.

DOMIN. To E. M. McVicker & Co., Southampton, England. “We undertake
no guarantee for goods damaged in transit. As soon as the consignment
was taken on board we drew your captain’s attention to the fact that
the vessel was unsuitable for the transportation of Robots; and we are
therefore not responsible for spoiled freight. We beg to remain, for
Rossum’s Universal Robots, yours truly.” (_SULLA types the lines._)
Ready?

SULLA. Yes.

DOMIN. Another letter. To the E. B. Huysen Agency, New York, U.S.A. “We
beg to acknowledge receipt of order for five thousand Robots. As you
are sending your own vessel, please dispatch as cargo equal quantities
of soft and hard coal for R.U.R., the same to be credited as part
payment (_BUZZER_) of the amount due us.” (_Answering phone_) Hello!
This is the central office. Yes, certainly. Well, send them a wire.
Good. (_Rises_) “We beg to remain, for Rossum’s Universal Robots, yours
very truly.” Ready?

SULLA. Yes.

DOMIN. (_Answering small portable phone_) Hello! Yes. No. All right.
(_Standing back of desk, punching plug machine and buttons_) Another
letter. Freidrichswerks, Hamburg, Germany. “We beg to acknowledge
receipt of order for fifteen thousand Robots.” (_Enter MARIUS R._)
Well, what is it?

MARIUS. There’s a lady, sir, asking to see you.

DOMIN. A lady? Who is she?

MARIUS. I don’t know, sir. She brings this card of introduction.

DOMIN. (_Reading card_) Ah, from President Glory. Ask her to come in--
(_To SULLA. Crossing up to her desk, then back to his own_) Where did I
leave off?

SULLA. “We beg to acknowledge receipt of order for fifteen thousand
Robots.”

DOMIN. Fifteen thousand. Fifteen thousand.

MARIUS. (_At door R._) Please step this way.

  (_Enter HELENA. Exit MARIUS R._)

HELENA. (_Crossing to desk_) How do you do?

DOMIN. How do you do? What can I do for you?

HELENA. You are Mr. Domin, the General Manager?

DOMIN. I am.

HELENA. I have come--

DOMIN. With President Glory’s card. That is quite sufficient.

HELENA. President Glory is my father. I am Helena Glory.

DOMIN. Please sit down. Sulla, you may go. (_Exit SULLA L. Sitting down
L. of desk_) How can I be of service to you, Miss Glory?

HELENA. I have come-- (_Sits R. of desk._)

DOMIN. To have a look at our famous works where people are
manufactured. Like all visitors. Well, there is no objection.

HELENA. I thought it was forbidden to--

DOMIN. To enter the factory? Yes, of course. Everybody comes here with
someone’s visiting card, Miss Glory.

HELENA. And you show them--

DOMIN. Only certain things. The manufacture of artificial people is a
secret process.

HELENA. If you only knew how enormously that--

DOMIN. Interests you. Europe’s talking about nothing else.

HELENA. (_Indignantly turning front_) Why don’t you let me finish
speaking?

DOMIN. (_Drier_) I beg your pardon. Did you want to say something
different?

HELENA. I only wanted to ask--

DOMIN. Whether I could make a special exception in your case and show
you our factory. Why, certainly, Miss Glory.

HELENA. How do you know I wanted to say that?

DOMIN. They all do. But we shall consider it a special honor to show
you more than we do the rest.

HELENA. Thank you.

DOMIN. (_Standing_) But you must agree not to divulge the least--

HELENA. (_Standing and giving him her hand_) My word of honor.

DOMIN. Thank you. (_Looking at her hand_) Won’t you raise your veil?

HELENA. Of course. You want to see whether I’m a spy or not--I beg your
pardon.

DOMIN. (_Leaning forward_) What is it?

HELENA. Would you mind releasing my hand?

DOMIN. (_Releasing it_) Oh, I beg _your_ pardon.

HELENA. (_Raising veil_) How cautious you have to be here, don’t you?

DOMIN. (_Observing her with deep interest_) Why, yes. Hm--of
course--We--that is--

HELENA. But what is it? What’s the matter?

DOMIN. I’m remarkably pleased. Did you have a pleasant crossing?

HELENA. Yes.

DOMIN. No difficulty?

HELENA. Why?

DOMIN. What I mean to say is--you’re so _young_.

HELENA. May we go straight into the factory?

DOMIN. Yes. Twenty-two, I think.

HELENA. Twenty-two what?

DOMIN. Years.

HELENA. Twenty-one. Why do you want to know?

DOMIN. Well, because--as-- (_Sits on desk nearer her_) You will make a
long stay, won’t you?

HELENA. (_Backing away R._) That depends on how much of the factory you
show me.

DOMIN. (_Rises; crosses to her_) Oh, hang the factory. Oh, no, no, you
shall see everything, Miss Glory. Indeed you shall. Won’t you sit down?
(_Takes her to couch R.C. She sits. Offers her cigarette from case at
end of sofa. She refuses._)

HELENA. Thank you.

DOMIN. But first would you like to hear the story of the invention?

HELENA. Yes, indeed.

DOMIN. (_Crosses to L.C. near desk_) It was in the year 1920 that old
Rossum, the great physiologist, who was then quite a young scientist,
took himself to the distant island for the purpose of studying the
ocean fauna. (_She is amused._) On this occasion he attempted by
chemical synthesis to imitate the living matter known as protoplasm
until he suddenly discovered a substance which behaved exactly like
living matter although its chemical composition was different. That
was in the year 1932, exactly four hundred and forty years after the
discovery of America. Whew--

HELENA. Do you know that by heart?

DOMIN. (_Takes flowers from desk to her_) Yes. You see, physiology is
not in my line. Shall I go on?

HELENA. (_Smelling flowers_) Yes, please.

DOMIN. (_Center_) And then, Miss Glory, Old Rossum wrote the following
among his chemical experiments: “Nature has found only one method
of organizing living matter. There is, however, another method, more
simple, flexible and rapid which has not yet occurred to Nature at all.
This second process by which life can be developed was discovered by me
today.” Now imagine him, Miss Glory, writing those wonderful words over
some colloidal mess that a dog wouldn’t look at. Imagine him sitting
over a test tube and thinking how the whole tree of life would grow
from him, how all animals would proceed from it, beginning with some
sort of a beetle and ending with a _man_. A man of different substance
from us. Miss Glory, that was a tremendous moment. (_Gets box of candy
from desk and passes it to her._)

HELENA. Well--

DOMIN. (_As she speaks his portable PHONE lights up and he answers_)
Well--Hello!--Yes--no, I’m in conference. Don’t disturb me.

HELENA. Well?

DOMIN. (_Smile_) Now, the thing was how to get the life _out_ of the
test tubes, and hasten development and form organs, bones and nerves,
and so on, and find such substances as catalytics, enzymes, hormones in
short--you understand?

HELENA. Not much, I’m afraid.

DOMIN. Never mind. (_Leans over couch and fixes cushion for her back_)
There! You see with the help of his tinctures he could make whatever
he wanted. He could have produced a Medusa with the brain of Socrates
or a worm fifty yards long-- (_She laughs. He does also; leans closer
on couch, then straightens up again_) --but being without a grain of
humor, he took into his head to make a vertebrate or perhaps a man.
This artificial living _matter_ of his had a raging thirst for life. It
didn’t mind being sown or mixed together. That couldn’t be done with
natural albumen. And that’s how he set about it.

HELENA. About what?

DOMIN. About imitating Nature. First of all he tried making an
artificial dog. That took him several years and resulted in a sort of
stunted calf which _died_ in a few days. I’ll show it to you in the
museum. And _then_ old Rossum started on the manufacture of _man_.

HELENA. And I’m to divulge this to nobody?

DOMIN. To nobody in the world.

HELENA. What a pity that it’s to be discovered in _all_ the school
books of both Europe and America. (_BOTH laugh._)

DOMIN. Yes. But do you know what _isn’t_ in the school books? That old
Rossum was mad. Seriously, Miss Glory, you must keep this to yourself.
The old crank wanted to actually make _people_.

HELENA. But you do make people.

DOMIN. _Approximately_--Miss Glory. But old Rossum meant it literally.
He wanted to become a sort of scientific substitute for _God_. He was a
fearful materialist, and that’s why he did it all. His sole purpose was
nothing more or less than to prove that God was no longer necessary.
(_Crosses to end of couch_) Do you know anything about anatomy?

HELENA. Very little.

DOMIN. Neither do I. Well-- (_He laughs_) --he then decided to
manufacture everything as in the human body. I’ll show you in the
museum the bungling attempt it took him ten years to produce. It was
to have been a _man_, but it lived for three days only. Then up came
_young_ Rossum, an engineer. He was a wonderful fellow, Miss Glory.
When he saw what a mess of it the old man was making he said: “It’s
absurd to spend ten years making a man. If you can’t make him quicker
than Nature, you might as well shut up shop.” Then he set about
learning anatomy himself.

HELENA. There’s nothing about _that_ in the school books?

DOMIN. No. The school books are full of paid advertisements, and
rubbish at that. What the school books say about the _united efforts_
of the two great Rossums is all a fairy tale. They used to have
dreadful rows. The old _atheist_ hadn’t the slightest conception of
industrial _matters_, and the end of it was that Young Rossum shut him
up in some laboratory or other and let him fritter the time away with
his monstrosities while he himself started on the business from an
_engineer’s_ point of view. Old Rossum _cursed_ him and before he died
he managed to botch up two physiological horrors. Then one day they
found him dead in the _laboratory_. And that’s his whole story.

HELENA. And what about the young man?

DOMIN. (_Sits beside her on couch_) Well, anyone who has looked into
human anatomy will have seen at once that man is too complicated, and
that a good engineer could make him more simply. So young Rossum began
to _overhaul_ anatomy to see what could be left out or simplified. In
short--But this isn’t boring you, Miss Glory?

HELENA. No, indeed. You’re--It’s awfully interesting.

DOMIN. (_Gets closer_) So young Rossum said to himself: “A man is
something that feels happy, plays the piano, likes going for a walk,
and, in fact, wants to do a whole lot of things that are really
unnecessary.”

HELENA. Oh.

DOMIN. That are unnecessary when he wants-- (_Takes her hand_) --let us
say, to weave or count. Do you play the piano?

HELENA. Yes.

DOMIN. That’s good. (_Kisses her hand. She lowers her head._) Oh, I
beg your pardon! (_Rises_) But a working machine must _not_ play the
piano, must not feel happy, must not do a whole lot of other things.
A gasoline motor must not have tassels or ornaments, Miss Glory. And
to manufacture artificial workers is the same thing as the manufacture
of a gasoline motor. (_She is not interested._) The process must be
the simplest, and the product the best from a practical point of view.
(_Sits beside her again_) What sort of worker do you think is the
_best_ from a practical point of view?

HELENA. (_Absently_) What? (_Looks at him._)

DOMIN. What sort of worker do you think is the best from a practical
point of view?

HELENA. (_Pulling herself together_) Oh! Perhaps the one who is most
honest and hard-working.

DOMIN. No. The one that is the _cheapest_. The one whose requirements
are the _smallest_. Young Rossum invented a worker with the minimum
amount of requirements. He had to simplify him. He rejected everything
that did not contribute directly to the progress of work. Everything
that makes man more expensive. In fact he _rejected man_ and made the
_Robot_. My dear Miss Glory, the Robots are not people. Mechanically
they are more _perfect_ than we are; they have an enormously developed
intelligence, but they have no soul. (_Leans back._)

HELENA. How do you know they have no soul?

DOMIN. Have you ever seen what a Robot looks like inside?

HELENA. No.

DOMIN. Very neat, very simple. Really a beautiful piece of work.
Not much _in_ it, but everything in flawless order. The product of
an engineer _is_ technically at a higher pitch of perfection than a
product of Nature.

HELENA. But man is supposed to be the product of God.

DOMIN. All the worse. God hasn’t the slightest notion of modern
engineering. Would you believe that young Rossum then proceeded to play
at being God?

HELENA. (_Awed_) How do you mean?

DOMIN. He began to manufacture Super-Robots. Regular giants they were.
He tried to make them twelve feet tall. But you wouldn’t believe what
a failure they were.

HELENA. A failure?

DOMIN. Yes. For no reason at all their limbs used to keep snapping off.
“Evidently our planet is too small for giants.” Now we only make Robots
of normal size and of very high-class human finish.

HELENA. (_Hands him flower; he puts it in button-hole_) I saw the first
Robots at home. The Town Council bought them for--I mean engaged them
for work.

DOMIN. No. _Bought_ them, Miss Glory. Robots are bought and sold.

HELENA. These were employed as street-sweepers. I saw them sweeping.
They were so strange and quiet.

DOMIN. (_Rises_) Rossum’s Universal Robot factory doesn’t produce
a uniform brand of Robots. We have Robots of _finer_ and _coarser_
grades. The best will live about _twenty_ years. (_Crosses to desk.
HELENA looks in her pocket mirror. He pushes button on desk._)

HELENA. Then they die?

DOMIN. Yes, they get used up. (_Enter MARIUS, R. DOMIN crosses to
C._) Marius, bring in samples of the manual labor Robot. (_Exit
MARIUS R.C._) I’ll show you specimens of the two extremes. This first
grade is comparatively inexpensive and is made in vast quantities.
(_MARIUS re-enters R.C. with two manual labor ROBOTS. MARIUS is L.C.,
ROBOTS R.C., DOMIN at desk. MARIUS stands on tiptoes, touches head,
feels arms, forehead of one of the ROBOTS. They come to a mechanical
standstill._) There you are, as powerful as a small tractor. Guaranteed
to have average intelligence. That will do, Marius. (_MARIUS exits R.C.
with ROBOTS._)

HELENA. They make me feel so strange.

DOMIN. (_Crosses to desk. Rings_) Did you see my new typist?

HELENA. I didn’t notice her.

  (_Enter SULLA L. She crosses and stands C., facing HELENA, who is
  still sitting in the couch._)

DOMIN. Sulla, let Miss Glory see you.

HELENA. (_Looks at DOMIN. Rising, crosses a step to C._) So pleased to
meet you. (_Looks at DOMIN_) You must find it terribly dull in this out
of the way spot, don’t you?

SULLA. I don’t know, Miss Glory.

HELENA. Where do you come from?

SULLA. From the factory.

HELENA. Oh, were you born there?

SULLA. I was _made_ there.

HELENA. What? (_Looks first at SULLA, then at DOMIN._)

DOMIN. (_To SULLA, laughing_) Sulla is a Robot, best grade.

HELENA. Oh, I beg your pardon.

DOMIN. (_Crosses to SULLA_) Sulla isn’t angry. See, Miss Glory, the
kind of skin we make. Feel her face. (_Touches SULLA’S face._)

HELENA. Oh, no, no.

DOMIN. (_Examining SULLA’S hand_) You wouldn’t know that she’s made of
different material from us, would you? Turn ’round, Sulla. (_SULLA does
so. Circles twice._)

HELENA. Oh, stop, stop.

DOMIN. Talk to Miss Glory, Sulla. (_Examines hair of SULLA._)

SULLA. Please sit down. (_HELENA sits on couch._) Did you have a
pleasant crossing? (_Fixes her hair._)

HELENA. Oh, yes, certainly.

SULLA. Don’t go back on the _Amelia_, Miss Glory, the barometer is
falling steadily. Wait for the _Pennsylvania_. That’s a good powerful
vessel.

DOMIN. What’s its speed?

SULLA. Forty knots an hour. Fifty thousand tons. One of the latest
vessels, Miss Glory.

HELENA. Thank you.

SULLA. A crew of fifteen hundred, Captain Harpy, eight boilers--

DOMIN. That’ll do, Sulla. Now show us your knowledge of French.

HELENA. You know French?

SULLA. Oui! Madame! I know four languages. I can write: “Dear Sir,
Monsieur, Geehrter Herr, Cteny pane.”

HELENA. (_Jumping up, crosses to SULLA_) Oh, that’s absurd! Sulla isn’t
a Robot. Sulla is a girl like me. Sulla, this is outrageous--Why do you
take part in such a hoax?

SULLA. I am a Robot.

HELENA. No, no, you are not telling the truth. (_She catches the amused
expression on DOMIN’S face_) I know they have forced you to do it for
an advertisement. Sulla, you are a girl like me, aren’t you? (_Looks at
him._)

DOMIN. I’m sorry, Miss Glory. _Sulla is a Robot._

HELENA. It’s a lie!

DOMIN. What? (_Pushes button on desk_) Well, then I must _convince_
you. (_Enter MARIUS R.C. He stands just inside the door._) Marius, take
Sulla into the dissecting room, and tell them to open her up at once.
(_MARIUS moves toward C._)

HELENA. Where?

DOMIN. Into the dissecting room. When they’ve _cut her open_, you can
go and have a look. (_MARIUS makes a start toward SULLA._)

HELENA. (_Stopping MARIUS_) No! No!

DOMIN. Excuse me, you spoke of lies.

HELENA. You wouldn’t have her killed?

DOMIN. You can’t kill machines. Sulla! (_MARIUS one step forward, one
arm out. SULLA makes a move toward R. door._)

HELENA. (_Moves a step R._) Don’t be afraid, Sulla. I won’t let you go.
Tell me, my dear-- (_Takes her hand_) --are they always so cruel to
you? You mustn’t put up with it, Sulla. You mustn’t.

SULLA. I am a Robot.

HELENA. That doesn’t matter. Robots are just as good as we are. Sulla,
you wouldn’t let yourself be cut to pieces?

SULLA. Yes. (_Hand away._)

HELENA. Oh, you’re not afraid of death, then?

SULLA. I cannot tell, Miss Glory.

HELENA. Do you know what would happen to you in there?

SULLA. Yes, I should cease to move.

HELENA. How dreadful! (_Looks at SULLA._)

DOMIN. Marius, tell Miss Glory what you are? (_Turns to HELENA._)

MARIUS. (_To HELENA_) Marius, the Robot.

DOMIN. Would you take Sulla into the dissecting room?

MARIUS. (_Turns to DOMIN_) Yes.

DOMIN. Would you be sorry for her?

MARIUS. (_Pause_) I cannot tell.

DOMIN. What would happen to her?

MARIUS. She would cease to move. They would put her into the stamping
mill.

DOMIN. That is death, Marius. Aren’t you afraid of death?

MARIUS. No.

DOMIN. You see, Miss Glory, the Robots have no interest in life. They
have no enjoyments. They are _less_ than so much grass.

HELENA. Oh, stop. Please send them away.

DOMIN. (_Pushes button_) Marius, Sulla, you may go. (_MARIUS pivots and
exits R. SULLA exits L._)

HELENA. How terrible! (_To C._) It’s outrageous what you are doing.
(_He takes her hand._)

DOMIN. Why outrageous? (_His hand over hers. Laughing._)

HELENA. I don’t know, but it is. Why do you call her “Sulla”?

DOMIN. Isn’t it a nice name? (_Hand away._)

HELENA. It’s a man’s name. Sulla was a Roman General.

DOMIN. What! Oh! (_Laughs_) We thought that Marius and Sulla were
lovers.

HELENA. (_Indignantly_) Marius and Sulla were generals and fought
against each other in the year--I’ve forgotten now.

DOMIN. (_Laughing_) Come here to the window. (_He goes to window C._)

HELENA. What?

DOMIN. Come here. (_She goes._) Do you see anything? (_Takes her arm.
She is on his R._)

HELENA. Bricklayers.

DOMIN. Robots. All our work people are Robots. And down there, can you
see anything?

HELENA. Some sort of office.

DOMIN. A counting house. And in it--

HELENA. A lot of officials.

DOMIN. Robots! All our officials are Robots. And when you see the
factory-- (_Noon WHISTLE blows. She is scared; puts arm on DOMIN. He
laughs_) If we don’t blow the whistle the Robots won’t stop working. In
two hours I’ll show you the kneading trough. (_BOTH come down stage.
HELENA is L.C. and DOMIN is R.C., arm in arm._)

HELENA. Kneading trough?

DOMIN. The pestle for beating up the paste. In each one we mix the
ingredients for a thousand Robots at one operation. Then there are the
vats for the preparation of liver, brains, and so on. Then you will
see the bone factory. After that I’ll show you the spinning mill.

HELENA. Spinning mill?

DOMIN. Yes. For weaving nerves and veins. Miles and miles of digestive
tubes pass through it at a time.

HELENA. (_Watching his gestures_) Mayn’t we talk about something else?

DOMIN. Perhaps it would be better. There’s only a _handful_ of us among
a hundred thousand Robots, and _not one woman_. We talk nothing but the
factory _all_ day, and _every_ day. It’s just as if we were under a
curse, Miss Glory.

HELENA. I’m _sorry_ I said that you were lying. (_A KNOCK at door R._)

DOMIN. Come in. (_He is C._)

  (_From R. enter DR. GALL, DR. FABRY, ALQUIST and DR. HALLEMEIER. ALL
  act formal--conscious. ALL click heels as introduced._)

DR. GALL. (_Noisily_) I beg your pardon. I hope we don’t intrude.

DOMIN. No, no. Come in. Miss Glory, here are Gall, Fabry, Alquist,
Hallemeier. This is President Glory’s daughter. (_ALL move to her and
shake her hand._)

HELENA. How do you do?

FABRY. We had no idea--

DR. GALL. Highly honored, I’m sure--

ALQUIST. Welcome, Miss Glory.

BUSMAN. (_Rushes in from R._) Hello, what’s up?

DOMIN. Come in, Busman. This is President Glory’s daughter. This is
Busman, Miss Glory.

BUSMAN. By Jove, that’s fine. (_ALL click heels. He crowds in and
shakes her hand_) Miss Glory, may we send a cablegram to the papers
about your arrival?

HELENA. No, no, please don’t.

DOMIN. Sit down, please, Miss Glory.

  (_On the line, “Sit down, please,” all SIX MEN try to find her a
  chair at once. HELENA goes for the chair at the extreme L. DOMIN
  takes the chair at front of desk, places it in the C. of stage.
  HALLEMEIER gets chair at SULLA’S typewriter and places it to R. of
  chair at C. BUSMAN gets armchair from extreme R., but by now HELENA
  has sat in DOMIN’S preferred chair, at C. ALL sit except DOMIN.
  BUSMAN at R. in armchair. HALLEMEIER R. of HELENA. FABRY in swivel
  chair back of desk._)

BUSMAN. Allow me--

DR. GALL. Please--

FABRY. Excuse me--

ALQUIST. What sort of a crossing did you have?

DR. GALL. Are you going to stay long? (_MEN conscious of their
appearance. ALQUIST’S trousers turned up at bottom. He turns them down.
BUSMAN polishes shoes. OTHERS fix ties, collars, etc._)

FABRY. What do you think of the factory, Miss Glory?

HALLEMEIER. Did you come over on the _Amelia_?

DOMIN. Be quiet and let _Miss Glory_ speak. (_MEN sit erect. DOMIN
stands at HELENA’S L._)

HELENA. (_To DOMIN_) What am I to speak to them about? (_MEN look at
one another._)

DOMIN. Anything you like.

HELENA. (_Looks at DOMIN_) May I speak quite frankly?

DOMIN. Why, of course.

HELENA. (_To OTHERS. Wavering, then in desperate resolution_) Tell me,
doesn’t it ever distress you the way you are treated?

FABRY. By whom, may I ask?

HELENA. Why, everybody.

ALQUIST. Treated?

DR. GALL. What makes you think--

HELENA. Don’t you feel that you might be living a better life? (_Pause.
ALL confused._)

DR. GALL. (_Smiling_) Well, that depends on what you mean, Miss Glory.

HELENA. I mean that it’s perfectly outrageous. It’s terrible.
(_Standing up_) The whole of Europe is talking about the way you’re
being treated. That’s why I came here, to see for myself, and it’s a
thousand times worse than could have been imagined. How _can_ you put
_up_ with it?

ALQUIST. Put up with what?

HELENA. Good heavens, you are living creatures, just like us, like the
whole of Europe, like the whole world. It’s disgraceful that you must
live like this.

BUSMAN. Good gracious, Miss Glory!

FABRY. Well, she’s not far wrong. We live here just like red Indians.

HELENA. Worse than red Indians. May I--oh, may I call you--_brothers_?
(_MEN look at each other._)

BUSMAN. Why not?

HELENA. (_Looking at DOMIN_) Brothers, I have not come here as the
President’s daughter. I have come on behalf of the Humanity League.
Brothers, the Humanity League now has over two hundred thousand
members. Two hundred thousand people are on your side, and offer you
their help. (_Tapping back of chair._)

BUSMAN. Two hundred thousand people, Miss Glory; that’s a tidy lot. Not
bad.

FABRY. I’m always telling you there’s nothing like good old Europe. You
see they’ve not forgotten us. They’re offering us help.

DR. GALL. What kind of help? A theatre, for instance?

HALLEMEIER. An orchestra?

HELENA. More than that.

ALQUIST. Just you?

HELENA. (_Glaring at DOMIN_) Oh, never mind about me. I’ll stay as long
as it is necessary. (_ALL express delight._)

BUSMAN. By Jove, that’s good.

ALQUIST. (_Rising L._) Domin, I’m going to get the best room ready for
Miss Glory.

DOMIN. Just a minute. I’m afraid that Miss Glory is of the opinion she
has been talking to Robots.

HELEN. Of course. (_MEN laugh._)

DOMIN. I’m sorry. These gentlemen are human beings just like us.

HELENA. You’re not Robots?


BUSMAN. Not Robots.               }
                                  }
HALLEMEIER. Robots indeed!        }
                                  }
DR. GALL. No, thanks.             } (_All together_)
                                  }
FABRY. Upon my honor, Miss Glory, }
  we aren’t Robots.               }


HELENA. Then why did you tell me that all your officials are Robots?

DOMIN. Yes, the officials, but not the _managers_. Allow me, Miss
Glory--this is Consul Busman, General Business Manager; this is Doctor
Fabry, General Technical Manager; Doctor Hallemeier, head of the
Institute for the Psychological Training of Robots; Doctor Gall, head
of the Psychological and Experimental Department; and Alquist, head
of the Building Department, R. U. R. (_As they are introduced they
rise and come C. to kiss her hand, except GALL and ALQUIST, whom DOMIN
pushes away. General babble._)

ALQUIST. Just a builder. Please sit down.

HELENA. Excuse me, gentlemen. Have I done something dreadful?

ALQUIST. Not at all, Miss Glory.

BUSMAN. (_Handing flowers_) Allow me, Miss Glory.

HELENA. Thank you.

FABRY. (_Handing candy_) Please, Miss Glory.

DOMIN. Will you have a cigarette, Miss Glory?

HELENA. No, thank you.

DOMIN. Do you mind if I do?

HELENA. Certainly not.

BUSMAN. Well, now, Miss Glory, it is certainly nice to have you with us.

HELENA. (_Seriously_) But you know I’ve come to disturb your Robots for
you. (_BUSMAN pulls chair closer._)

DOMIN. (_Mocking her serious tone_) My dear Miss Glory-- (_Chuckle_)
--we’ve had close upon a hundred saviors and prophets here. Every ship
brings us some. Missionaries, Anarchists, Salvation Army, all sorts!
It’s astonishing what a number of churches and idiots there are in the
world.

HELENA. And yet you let them speak to the Robots.

DOMIN. So far we’ve let them all. Why not? The Robot remembers
everything but that’s all. They don’t even laugh at what the people
say. Really it’s quite incredible.

HELENA. I’m a stupid girl. Send me back by the first ship.

DR. GALL. Not for anything in the world, Miss Glory. Why should we send
you back?

DOMIN. If it would amuse you, Miss Glory, I’ll take you down to the
Robot warehouse. It holds about three hundred thousand of them.

BUSMAN. Three hundred and forty-seven thousand.

DOMIN. Good, and you can say whatever you like to them. You can read
the Bible, recite the multiplication table, whatever you please. You
can even preach to them about human rights.

HELENA. Oh, I think that if you were to show them a little love.

FABRY. Impossible, Miss Glory! _Nothing is harder to like than a Robot._

HELENA. What do you make them for, then?

BUSMAN. Ha, ha, ha! That’s good. What are Robots made for?

FABRY. For _work_, Miss Glory. One Robot can replace two and a half
_workmen_. The human machine, Miss Glory, was terribly _imperfect_. It
had to be removed sooner or later.

BUSMAN. It was too expensive.

FABRY. It was not _effective_. It no longer answers the requirements of
_modern engineering_. Nature has no idea of keeping pace with _modern
labor_. For example, from a technical point of view, the whole of
_childhood_ is a sheer absurdity. So much time lost. And then again--

HELENA. (_Turns to DOMIN_) Oh, no, no!

FABRY. Pardon me. What is the real _aim_ of your League--the--the
Humanity League?

HELENA. Its real purpose is to--to protect the Robots--and--and to
insure good treatment for them.

FABRY. Not a bad object, either. A machine has to be treated properly.
(_Leans back_) _I don’t like damaged articles._ Please, Miss Glory,
enroll us all _members_ of your league. (_“Yes, yes!” from all MEN._)

HELENA. No, you don’t understand me. What we really want is
to--to--_liberate_ the Robots. (_Looks at all OTHERS._)

HALLEMEIER. How do you propose to do that?

HELENA. They are to be--to be dealt with like human beings.

HALLEMEIER. Aha! I suppose they’re to vote. To drink beer. To order us
about?

HELENA. Why shouldn’t they drink beer?

HALLEMEIER. Perhaps they’re even to receive wages? (_Looking at other
MEN, amused._)

HELENA. Of course they are.

HALLEMEIER. Fancy that! Now! And what would they do with their wages,
pray?

HELENA. They would buy--what they want--what pleases them.

HALLEMEIER. That would be very nice, Miss Glory, only there’s nothing
that does please the Robots. Good heavens, what are they to buy? You
can feed them on pineapples, straw, whatever you like. It’s all the
_same_ to them. They’ve no appetite at all. They’ve no interest in
anything. Why, hang it all, nobody’s ever yet seen a Robot smile.

HELENA. Why--why don’t you make them--happier?

HALLEMEIER. That wouldn’t do, Miss Glory. They are only workmen.

HELENA. Oh, but they’re so intelligent.

HALLEMEIER. Confoundedly so, but they’re nothing else. They’ve no will
of their own. No soul. No passion.

HELENA. No love?

HALLEMEIER. Love? Huh! Rather not. Robots don’t love. Not even
themselves.

HELENA. No defiance?

HALLEMEIER. Defiance? I don’t know. Only _rarely_, from time to time.

HELENA. What happens then?

HALLEMEIER. Nothing particular. Occasionally they seem to go off their
_heads_. Something like epilepsy, you know. It’s called “Robot’s
Cramp.” They’ll suddenly sling down everything they’re holding,
stand still, gnash their teeth--and then they have to go into the
stamping-mill. It’s evidently some breakdown in the mechanism.

DOMIN. (_Sitting on desk_) A flaw in the works that has to be removed.

HELENA. No, no, that’s the soul.

FABRY. (_Humorously_) Do you think that the soul first shows itself by
a gnashing of teeth? (_MEN chuckle._)

HELENA. Perhaps it’s just a sign that there’s a struggle within.
Perhaps it’s a sort of revolt. Oh, if you could infuse them with it.

DOMIN. That’ll be remedied, Miss Glory. Doctor Gall is just making some
experiments.

DR. GALL. Not with regard to that, Domin. At present I am making _pain_
nerves.

HELENA. Pain nerves?

DR. GALL. Yes, the Robots feel practically no bodily pain. You see,
young Rossum provided them with too limited a _nervous_ system. We
_must_ introduce _suffering_.

HELENA. Why do you want to cause them pain?

DR. GALL. For industrial reasons, Miss Glory. Sometimes a Robot does
damage to himself because it doesn’t hurt him. He puts his hand
into the machine-- (_Describes with gesture_) --breaks his finger--
(_Describes with gesture_) --smashes his head. It’s all the same to
him. We must provide them with _pain_. That’s an automatic _protection_
against damage.

HELENA. Will they be happier when they feel pain?

DR. GALL. On the contrary; but they will be more perfect from a
technical point of view.

HELENA. Why don’t you create a soul for them?

DR. GALL. That’s not in our power.

FABRY. That’s not in our interest.

BUSMAN. That would increase the cost of production. Hang it all, my
dear young lady, we turn them out at such a cheap rate--a hundred and
fifty dollars each, fully dressed, and fifteen years ago they cost ten
thousand. Five years ago we used to buy the _clothes_ for them. Today
we have our own weaving mill, and now we even _export_ cloth five times
cheaper than other factories. What do you pay a yard for cloth, Miss
Glory?

HELENA. (_Looking at DOMIN_) I don’t really know. I’ve forgotten.

BUSMAN. Good gracious, and you want to found a Humanity League. (_MEN
chuckle._) It only costs a third now, Miss Glory. All prices are today
a third of what they were and they’ll fall still lower, lower, like
that.

HELENA. I don’t understand.

BUSMAN. Why, bless you, Miss Glory, it means that the cost of _labor_
has fallen. A Robot, food and all, costs three-quarters of a cent
per hour. (_Leans forward_) That’s mighty important, you know. All
factories will go pop like chestnuts if they don’t at once buy Robots
to lower the cost of production.

HELENA. And get rid of all their workmen?

BUSMAN. Of course. But in the meantime we’ve dumped five hundred
thousand _tropical_ Robots down on the Argentine pampas to grow corn.
Would you mind telling me how much you pay a pound for bread?

HELENA. I’ve no idea. (_ALL smile._)

BUSMAN. Well, I’ll tell you. It now costs two cents in good old
Europe. A pound of bread for two cents, and the _Humanity League_--
(_Designates HELENA_) --knows nothing about it. (_To MEN_) Miss
Glory, you don’t realize that even _that’s_ too expensive. (_All MEN
chuckle._) Why, in five years’ time I’ll wager--

HELENA. What?

BUSMAN. That the cost of everything will be a tenth of what it
is today. Why, in five years we’ll be up to our ears in corn
and--everything else.

ALQUIST. Yes, and all the workers throughout the world will be
unemployed.

DOMIN. (_Seriously. Rises_) Yes, Alquist, they will. Yes, Miss Glory,
they will. But in ten years Rossum’s Universal Robots will produce so
much _corn_, so much _cloth_, so much everything that things will be
practically without price. There will be no poverty. All work will
be done by living machines. Everybody will be free from worry and
liberated from the degradation of labor. Everybody will live only to
_perfect_ himself.

HELENA. Will he?

DOMIN. Of course. It’s bound to happen. Then the servitude of man to
man and the enslavement of man to matter will cease. Nobody will get
bread at the cost of life and hatred. The Robots will wash the feet of
the beggar and prepare a bed for him in his house.

ALQUIST. Domin, Domin, what you say sounds too much like Paradise.
There was something _good_ in _service_ and something _great_ in
humility. There was some kind of virtue in _toil_ and _weariness_.

DOMIN. Perhaps, but we cannot reckon with what is lost when we start
out to transform the world. Man shall be _free_ and supreme; he shall
have no other aim, no other labor, no other care than to perfect
himself. He shall serve neither matter nor man. He will not be a
machine and a device for production. He will be _Lord_ of creation.

BUSMAN. Amen.

FABRY. So be it.

HELENA. (_Rises_) You have bewildered me. I should like to believe this.

DR. GALL. You are younger than we are, Miss Glory. You will live to see
it.

HALLEMEIER. True. (_Looking around_) Don’t you think Miss Glory might
lunch with us? (_All MEN rise._)

DR. GALL. Of course. Domin, ask her on behalf of us all.

DOMIN. Miss Glory, will you do us the honor?

HELENA. When you know why I’ve come?

FABRY. For the League of Humanity, Miss Glory.

HELENA. Oh, in that case perhaps--

FABRY. That’s fine. (_Pause_) Miss Glory, excuse me for five minutes.
(_Exits R._)

HALLEMEIER. Thank you. (_Exits R. with DR. GALL._)

BUSMAN. (_Whispering_) I’ll be back soon. (_Beckoning to ALQUIST, they
exit._)

ALQUIST. (_Starts, stops, then to HELENA, then to door_) I’ll be back
in exactly five minutes. (_Exits R._)

HELENA. What have they all gone for?

DOMIN. To cook, Miss Glory. (_On her L._)

HELENA. To cook what?

DOMIN. Lunch. (_They laugh; takes her hand_) The Robots do our cooking
for us and as they’ve no taste it’s not altogether-- (_She laughs._)
Hallemeier is awfully _good_ at grills and Gall can make any kind of
sauce, and Busman knows all about omelets.

HELENA. What a feast! And what’s the specialty of Mr.--your builder?

DOMIN. Alquist? Nothing. He only lays the table. And Fabry will get
together a little fruit. Our cuisine is very modest, Miss Glory.

HELENA. (_Thoughtfully_) I wanted to ask you something--

DOMIN. And I wanted to ask you something too--they’ll be back in five
minutes. (_Looks at door R._)

HELENA. What did you want to ask me? (_Sits C._)

DOMIN. Excuse me, you asked first. (_Sits L. of her._)

HELENA. Perhaps it’s silly of me, but why do you manufacture female
Robots when--when--

DOMIN. When sex means nothing to them?

HELENA. Yes.

DOMIN. There’s a certain demand for them, you see. Servants,
saleswomen, stenographers. People are _used_ to it.

HELENA. But--but tell me, are the Robots male and female,
mutually--completely without--

DOMIN. Completely indifferent to each other, Miss Glory. There’s no
sign of any _affection_ between them.

HELENA. Oh, that’s terrible.

DOMIN. Why?

HELENA. It’s so unnatural. One doesn’t know whether to be disgusted or
to hate them, or perhaps--

DOMIN. To pity them. (_Smiles._)

HELENA. That’s more like it. What did you want to ask _me_?

DOMIN. I should like to ask you, Miss Helena, if you will marry me.

HELENA. What? (_Rises._)

DOMIN. Will you be my wife? (_Rises._)

HELENA. No. The idea!

DOMIN. (_To her, looking at his watch_) Another three minutes. If you
don’t marry me you’ll have to marry one of the other five.

HELENA. But why should I?

DOMIN. Because they’re _all_ going to ask you in turn.

HELENA. (_Crossing him to L.C._) How could they dare do such a thing?

DOMIN. I’m very sorry, Miss Glory. It seems they’ve fallen in love with
you.

HELENA. Please don’t let them. I’ll--I’ll go away at once. (_Starts R.
He stops her, his arms up._)

DOMIN. Helena-- (_She backs away to desk. He follows_) You wouldn’t be
so cruel as to refuse us.

HELENA. But, but--I can’t marry all six.

DOMIN. No, but one anyhow. If you don’t want _me_, marry Fabry.

HELENA. I won’t.

DOMIN. Ah! Doctor Gall?

HELENA. I don’t want any of you.

DOMIN. Another two minutes. (_Pleading. Looking at watch._)

HELENA. I think you’d marry any woman who came here.

DOMIN. _Plenty_ of them have come, Helena.

HELENA. (_Laughing_) Young?

DOMIN. Yes.

HELENA. Why didn’t you marry one of _them_?

DOMIN. Because I didn’t lose my head. Until today--then as soon as you
lifted your veil-- (_HELENA turns her head away._) Another minute.


  (_WARN Curtain._)


HELENA. But I don’t want you, I tell you.

DOMIN. (_Laying both hands on her shoulder_) One more minute! Now you
either have to look me straight in the eye and say “no” violently, and
then I leave you alone--or-- (_HELENA looks at him. He takes hands
away. She takes his hand again._)

HELENA. (_Turning her head away_) You’re mad.

DOMIN. A man _has_ to be a bit mad, Helena. That’s the best thing about
him. (_He draws her to him._)

HELENA. (_Not meaning it_) You are--you are--

DOMIN. Well?

HELENA. Don’t, you’re hurting me!

DOMIN. The last chance, Helena. Now or never--

HELENA. But--but-- (_He embraces her; kisses her. She embraces him.
KNOCKING at R. door._)

DOMIN. (_Releasing her_) Come in. (_She lays her head on his shoulder._)

  (_Enter BUSMAN, GALL and HALLEMEIER in kitchen aprons, FABRY with a
  bouquet and ALQUIST with a napkin under his arm._)

DOMIN. Have you finished your job?

BUSMAN. Yes.

DOMIN. So have we. (_He embraces her. The MEN rush around them and
offer congratulations._)


THE CURTAIN FALLS QUICKLY



ACT TWO

SCENE: _HELENA’S drawing room. Ten years later. The skeleton
  framework of Act I is still used. Tall windows put in back instead
  of Act I windows. Steel shutters for these windows. Where the green
  cabinet of Act I at Left has stood is a door, L.2, leading to the
  outside. Where the cabinet stood at Right, a fireplace is placed. The
  tall open hallway R.C. of Act I is blocked up with a flat piece. The
  doors at Right and Left 1 have been changed to those of a drawing
  room. Door at Right leads to HELENA’S bedroom. Door at Left 1 leads
  to library._

  _The furniture consists of a reading table at Left Center covered
  with magazines. A chair to the Left of table. In front of table is an
  armchair covered in chintz. A couch Right Center and back of it is a
  small table with books and book-ends. On this table a small reading
  lamp. At Right between doorway and fireplace is a small table. There
  is a work-basket upon it, with pincushion, needles, etc. Down stage
  at Right and facing the couch is another armchair used by ALQUIST.
  To the Left of fireplace is a straight-backed chair. Upstage at Left
  near the L.2 door to the outside is a writing desk. There is a lamp
  upon it, writing paper, etc., a telephone and binoculars._

  _The walls of the room have been covered with silk to the height
  of seven feet. This is done in small flats to fit the different
  spaces and are in place against the permanent set. The two French
  windows open into the room. At the rise they are open. There is a
  balcony beyond looking over the harbor. The same telegraph wires and
  poles from Act I are again visible through the window. The windows
  are trimmed with gray lace curtains. Binoculars on desk up stage by
  television._

  _It is about nine in the morning and SUNLIGHT streams into the room
  through the open windows. DOMIN opens the door L.2; tiptoes in. He
  carries a potted plant. He beckons the OTHERS to follow him, and
  HALLEMEIER and FABRY enter, both carrying a potted plant. DOMIN
  places flowers on the library table and goes to Right and looks
  toward HELENA’S bedroom R._


HALLEMEIER. (_Putting down his flowers on L.C. table and indicates the
door R._) Still asleep?

DOMIN. Yes.

HALLEMEIER. Well, as long as she’s asleep she can’t worry about it.
(_He remains at L.C. table._)

DOMIN. She knows nothing about it. (_At C._)

FABRY. (_Putting plant on writing desk_) I certainly hope nothing
happens today.

HALLEMEIER. For goodness sake drop it all. Look, this is a fine
cyclamen, isn’t it? A new sort, my latest--Cyclamen Helena.

DOMIN. (_Picks up binoculars and goes out into balcony_) No signs of
the ship. Things must be pretty bad.

HALLEMEIER. Be quiet. Suppose she heard you.

DOMIN. (_Coming into room, puts glasses on desk_) Well, anyway the
_Ultimus_ arrived just in time.

FABRY. You really think that today--?

DOMIN. I don’t know. (_He crosses to L.C. table_) Aren’t the flowers
fine?

HALLEMEIER. (_Fondles flowers_) These are my primroses. And this
is my new jasmine. I’ve discovered a wonderful way of developing
flowers quickly. Splendid varieties, too. Next year I’ll be developing
marvelous ones.

DOMIN. What next year?

FABRY. I’d give a good deal to know what’s happening at Havre with--

HELENA. (_Off R._) Nana.

DOMIN. Keep quiet. She’s awake. Out you go. (_ALL go out on tiptoe
through L.2 door. Enter NANA L.1_)

HELENA. (_Calling from R._) Nana?

NANA. Horrid mess! Pack of heathens. If I had _my_ say, I’d--

HELENA. (_Backwards in the doorway from R._) Nana, come and do up my
dress.

NANA. I’m coming. So you’re up at last. (_Fastening HELENA’S dress_) My
gracious, what brutes!

HELENA. Who? (_Turning._)

NANA. If you want to turn _around_, then turn around, but I shan’t
fasten you up.

HELENA. (_Turns back_) What are you grumbling about now?

NANA. These dreadful creatures, these heathens--

HELENA. (_Turning toward NANA again_) The Robots?

NANA. I wouldn’t even call them by name.

HELENA. What’s happened?

NANA. Another of them here has caught it. He began to smash up the
statues and pictures in the drawing room; gnashed his teeth; foamed at
the mouth. Worse than an animal.

HELENA. Which of them caught it?

NANA. The one--well, he hasn’t got any _Christian_ name. The one in
charge of the library.

HELENA. Radius?

NANA. That’s him. My goodness, I’m scared of them. A spider doesn’t
scare me as much as them.

HELENA. But Nana, I’m surprised you’re not sorry for them.

NANA. Why, you’re scared of them too. You know you are. Why else did
you bring _me_ here?

HELENA. I’m not scared, really I’m not, Nana. I’m only sorry for them.

NANA. You’re scared. Nobody could _help_ being scared. Why, the dog’s
scared of them. He won’t take a scrap of meat out of their hands. He
draws in his tail and howls when he knows they’re about.

HELENA. The dog has no sense.

NANA. He’s better than _them_, and he knows it. Even the _horse_ shies
when he meets them. They don’t have any young, and a _dog_ has young,
_everyone_ has young--

HELENA. (_Turning back_) Please fasten up my dress, Nana.

NANA. I say it’s against God’s will to--

HELENA. What is it that smells so nice?

NANA. Flowers.

HELENA. What for?

NANA. Now you can turn around.

HELENA. (_Turns; crosses to C._) Oh, aren’t they lovely? Look, Nana.
What’s happening today?

NANA. It ought to be the end of the world. (_Enter DOMIN L.2. He
crosses down front of table L.C._)

HELENA. (_Crosses to him_) Oh, hello, Harry. (_NANA turns upstage to
L._) Harry, why all these flowers?

DOMIN. Guess. (_This scene is played down in front of L.C. table._)

HELENA. Well, it’s not my _birthday_!

DOMIN. Better than that.

HELENA. I don’t know. Tell me.

DOMIN. It’s ten years ago _today_ since you _came_ here.

HELENA. Ten years? Today? Why-- (_They embrace._)

NANA. (_Muttering_) I’m off. (_She exits L.1._)

HELENA. Fancy you remembering.

DOMIN. I’m really ashamed, Helena. I didn’t.

HELENA. But you--

DOMIN. _They_ remembered.

HELENA. Who?

DOMIN. Busman, Hallemeier--_all_ of them. Put your hand in my pocket.

HELENA. (_Takes necklace from his Left jacket pocket_) Oh! Pearls! A
necklace! Harry, is this for me?

DOMIN. It’s from Busman.

HELENA. But we can’t accept it, can we?

DOMIN. Oh, yes, we can. (_Puts necklace on table L.C._) Put your hand
in the other pocket.

HELENA. (_Takes a revolver out of his Right pocket_) What’s that?

DOMIN. Sorry. Not that. Try again. (_He puts gun in pocket._)

HELENA. Oh, Harry, why do you carry a revolver?

DOMIN. It got there by mistake.

HELENA. You never used to _carry_ one.

DOMIN. No, you’re right. (_Indicates breast pocket_) There, that’s the
pocket.

HELENA. (_Takes out cameo_) A cameo. Why, it’s a Greek cameo.

DOMIN. Apparently. Anyhow, Fabry says it is.

HELENA. Fabry? Did Mr. Fabry give me that?

DOMIN. Of course. (_Opens the L.1 door_) And look in here. Helena, come
and see this. (_BOTH exit L.1._)

HELENA. (_Off L.1_) Oh, isn’t it fine? Is this from you?

DOMIN. (_Off L.1_) No, from Alquist. And there’s another on the piano.

HELENA. This must be from you?

DOMIN. There’s a card on it.

HELENA. From Doctor Gall. (_Reappearing in L.1 doorway_) Oh, Harry, I
feel embarrassed at so much kindness.

DOMIN. (_Enters to up R. of table L.C._) Come here. This is what
Hallemeier brought you.

HELENA. (_To up L. of desk_) These beautiful flowers?

DOMIN. Yes. It’s a new kind. Cyclamen-Helena. He grew them in honor of
_you_. They are almost as beautiful as you.

HELENA. (_Kissing him_) Harry, why do they all--

DOMIN. They’re awfully fond of you. I’m afraid that my present is a
little--Look out of the window. (_Crosses to window and beckons to
her._)

HELENA. Where? (_They go out into the balcony._)

DOMIN. Into the harbor.

HELENA. There’s a new ship.

DOMIN. That’s _your_ ship.

HELENA. Mine? How do you mean?

DOMIN. (_R._) For you to take trips in--for your amusement.

HELENA. (_L._) Harry, that’s a gunboat.

DOMIN. A gunboat? What are you thinking of? It’s only a little _bigger_
and more _solid_ than most ships.

HELENA. Yes, but with guns.

DOMIN. Oh, yes, with a few guns. You’ll travel like a _queen_, Helena.

HELENA. What’s the meaning of it? Has anything happened?

DOMIN. Good heavens, no. I say, try these pearls. (_Crosses to R. of
table L.C._)

HELENA. Harry, have you had bad news?

DOMIN. On the contrary, no letters have arrived for a whole week.

HELENA. Nor telegrams? (_Coming into the room C._)

DOMIN. Nor telegrams.

HELENA. What does that mean?

DOMIN. _Holidays_ for us! We all sit in the office with our feet on the
table and take a nap. No letters--no telegrams. Glorious!

HELENA. Then you’ll stay with me today?

DOMIN. Certainly. (_Embraces her_) That is, we will see. Do you
remember ten years ago today? (_Crosses to L. of table L.C._) Miss
Glory, it’s a great honor to welcome you. (_They assume the same
positions as when they first met ten years before in DOMIN’S office._)

HELENA. (_To table_) Oh, Mr. Manager, I’m so interested in your
factory. (_She sits R. of table._)

DOMIN. I’m sorry, Miss Glory, it’s strictly forbidden. The manufacture
of artificial people is a secret.

HELENA. But to oblige the young lady who has come a long way.

DOMIN. (_Leans on table_) Certainly, Miss Glory. I have no secrets from
you.

HELENA. Are you sure, Harry? (_Leaning on desk, seriously, his right
hand on hers._)

DOMIN. _Yes._ (_They gradually draw apart._)

HELENA. But I warn you, sir, this young lady intends to do terrible
things.

DOMIN. Good gracious, Miss Glory. Perhaps she doesn’t want to marry me.

HELENA. Heaven forbid. She never dreamt of such a thing. But she came
here intending to stir up a _revolt_ among your _Robots_.

DOMIN. A revolt of the Robots!

HELENA. (_Low voice_) Harry, what’s the matter with you?

DOMIN. (_Laughing it off_) _A revolt of the Robots_, that’s a fine
idea. (_Crosses to back of table. She watches him suspiciously._) Miss
Glory, it would be easier for you to cause bolts and screws to rebel
than our Robots. You know, Helena, you’re wonderful. You’ve turned the
hearts of us all. (_Sits on table._)

HELENA. Oh, I was fearfully impressed by you all then. You were all so
sure of yourselves, so strong. I seemed like a tiny little girl who had
lost her way among--among--

DOMIN. What?

HELENA. (_Front_) Among huge trees. All my feelings were so _trifling_
compared with your _self-confidence_. And in all these years I’ve never
_lost_ this anxiety. But you’ve never felt the _least_ misgiving, not
even when everything went wrong.

DOMIN. What went wrong?

HELENA. Your plans. You remember, Harry, when the workmen in America
revolted against the Robots and smashed them up, and when the people
gave the Robots firearms against the rebels. And then when the
governments turned the Robots into soldiers, and there were so many
_wars_.

DOMIN. (_Getting up and walking about_) We foresaw that, Helena.
(_Around table to R.C._) You see, these are only passing troubles
which are bound to happen before the new conditions are _established_.
(_Walking up and down, standing at Center._)

HELENA. You were all so powerful, so overwhelming. The _whole world_
bowed down before you. (_Rising_) Oh, Harry! (_Crosses to him._)

DOMIN. What is it?

HELENA. Close the factory and let’s go away. All of us.

DOMIN. I say, what’s the meaning of this?

HELENA. I don’t know. But can’t we go away?

DOMIN. Impossible, Helena! That is, at this particular moment--

HELENA. At once, Harry. I’m so frightened.

DOMIN. (_Takes her_) About what, Helena?

HELENA. It’s as if something was falling on top of us, and couldn’t
be stopped. Oh, take us all away from here. We’ll find a place in the
world where there’s no one else. Alquist will build us a house, and
then we’ll begin life all over again. (_The TELEPHONE rings._)

DOMIN. (_Crosses to telephone on desk up L._) Excuse me. Hello--yes,
what? I’ll be there at once. Fabry is calling me, my dear. (_Crosses
L._)

HELENA. Tell me-- (_She rushes up to him._)

DOMIN. Yes, when I come back. Don’t go out of the house, dear. (_Exits
L.2._)

HELENA. He won’t tell me. (_NANA brings in a water carafe from L.1._)
Nana, find me the latest newspapers. Quickly. Look in Mr. Domin’s
bedroom.

NANA. All right. (_Crosses R._) He leaves them all over the place.
That’s how they get crumpled up. (_Continues muttering. Exits R._)

HELENA. (_Looking through binoculars at the harbor_) That’s a warship.
U-l-t-i--_Ultimus_. They’re loading.

NANA. (_Enters R. with newspapers_) Here they are. See how they’re
crumpled up.

HELENA. (_Crosses down_) They’re old ones. A week old. (_Drops papers.
BOTH at front of couch. NANA sits R. of table L.C. Puts on spectacles.
Reads the newspapers._) Something’s happening, Nana.

NANA. Very likely. It always does. (_Spelling out the words_) “W-a-r in
B-a-l-k-a-n-s.” Is that far off?

HELENA. Oh, don’t read it. It’s always the same. Always wars! (_Sits on
couch._)

NANA. What else do you _expect_? Why do you _keep_ selling thousands
and thousands of these heathens as soldiers?

HELENA. I suppose it can’t be helped, Nana. We can’t know--Domin can’t
know what they’re to be used for. When an order comes for them he must
just send them.

NANA. He shouldn’t make them. (_Reading from newspaper_) “The Robot
soldiers spare no-body in the occ-up-ied terr-it-ory. They have
ass-ass-ass-inat-ed ov-er sev-en hundred thous-and cit-iz-ens.”
Citizens, if you please.

HELENA. (_Rises and crosses and takes paper_) It can’t be. Let me see.
(_Crossing to NANA_) They have assassinated over seven hundred thousand
citizens, evidently at the order of their commander. (_Drops paper;
crosses up C._)

NANA. (_Spelling out the words from other paper she has picked up from
the floor_) “Re-bell-ion in Ma-drid a-gainst the gov-ern-ment. Rob-ot
in-fant-ry fires on the crowd. Nine thou-sand killed and wounded.”

HELENA. Oh, stop! (_Goes up and looks toward the harbor._)

NANA. Here’s something printed in big letters. “Latest news. At Havre
the first org-an-iz-a-tion of Rob-ots has been e-stab-lished. Rob-ots
work-men, sail-ors and sold-iers have iss-ued a man-i-fest-o to all
Rob-ots through-out the world.” I don’t understand that. That’s got no
sense. Oh, good gracious, another murder.

HELENA. (_Up C._) Take those papers away now.

NANA. Wait a bit. Here’s something in still bigger type. “Stat-ist-ics
of pop-ul-a-tion.” What’s that?

HELENA. (_Coming down to NANA_) Let me see. (_Reads_) “During the past
week there has again not been a single birth recorded.”

NANA. What’s the meaning of that? (_Drops paper._)

HELENA. Nana, no more _people_ are being born.

NANA. That’s the end, then? (_Removing spectacles_) We’re done for.

HELENA. Don’t talk like that.

NANA. No more people are being born. That’s a punishment, that’s a
punishment.

HELENA. Nana!

NANA. (_Standing up_) That’s the end of the world. (_Repeat until off.
Picks paper up from floor. She exits L.1._)

HELENA. (_Goes up to window_) Oh, Mr. Alquist. (_ALQUIST off L.2._)
Will you come here? Oh, come just as you are. You look very nice in
your mason’s overalls. (_ALQUIST enters L.2, his hands soiled with lime
and brick dust. She goes to end of sofa and meets him C._) Dear Mr.
Alquist, it was awfully kind of you, that lovely present.

ALQUIST. My hands are soiled. I’ve been _experimenting_ with that new
cement.

HELENA. Never mind. Please sit down. (_Sits on couch. He sits on her
L._) Mr. Alquist, what’s the meaning of _Ultimus_?

ALQUIST. The last. Why?

HELENA. That’s the name of my new ship. Have you seen it? Do you think
we’re off soon--on a trip?

ALQUIST. Perhaps _very_ soon.

HELENA. All of you with me?

ALQUIST. I should like us _all_ to be there.

HELENA. What _is_ the matter?

ALQUIST. Things are just moving on.

HELENA. Dear Mr. Alquist, I know something dreadful has happened.

ALQUIST. Has your husband _told_ you anything?

HELENA. No. _Nobody_ will tell me anything. But I feel--Is anything the
matter?

ALQUIST. Not that we’ve heard of yet.

HELENA. I feel so nervous. Don’t _you_ ever feel nervous?

ALQUIST. Well, I’m an old man, you know. I’ve got old-fashioned ways.
And I’m afraid of all this progress, and these new-fangled ideas.

HELENA. Like Nana?

ALQUIST. Yes, like Nana. Has Nana got a prayer book?

HELENA. Yes, a big thick one.

ALQUIST. And has it got prayers for various occasions? Against
thunderstorms? Against illness? But not against _progress_?

HELENA. I don’t think so.

ALQUIST. That’s a pity.

HELENA. Why, do you mean you’d like to pray?

ALQUIST. I _do_ pray.

HELENA. How?

ALQUIST. Something like this: “Oh, Lord, I thank thee for having given
me toil; enlighten Domin and all those who are astray; destroy their
work, and aid mankind to return to their labors; let them not suffer
harm in soul or body; deliver us from the Robots, and protect Helena.
Amen.”

HELENA. (_Touches his arm; pats it_) Mr. Alquist, are you a believer?

ALQUIST. I don’t know. I’m not quite sure.

HELENA. And yet you pray?

ALQUIST. That’s better than _worrying_ about it.

HELENA. And that’s enough for you?

ALQUIST. (_Ironically_) It _has_ to be.

HELENA. But if you thought you saw the destruction of mankind coming
upon us--

ALQUIST. I _do_ see it.

HELENA. You mean mankind will be destroyed?

ALQUIST. It’s bound to be unless--unless.

HELENA. What?

ALQUIST. Nothing. (_Pats her shoulder. Rises_) Goodbye. (_Exits L.2._)

HELENA. (_Rises. Calling_) Nana, Nana! (_NANA enters L.1._) Is Radius
still there?

NANA. (_L.C._) The one who went mad? They haven’t come for him yet.

HELENA. Is he still raving?

NANA. No. He’s tied up.

HELENA. Please bring him here.

NANA. What?

HELENA. At once, Nana. (_Exits NANA L.1. HELENA to telephone_) Hello,
Doctor Gall, please. Oh, good day, Doctor. Yes, it’s Helena. Thanks
for your lovely present. Could you come and see me right away? It’s
important. Thank you. (_Enter RADIUS L.1; looks at HELENA, then turns
head up L. She crosses to him, L.C._) Poor Radius, you’ve caught it
too? Now they’ll send you to the stamping mill. Couldn’t you control
yourself? Why did it happen? You see, Radius, you are more intelligent
than the rest. Doctor Gall took such trouble to make you different.
Won’t you speak?

RADIUS. (_Looking at her_) Send me to the stamping mill. (_Open and
close fists._)

HELENA. But I don’t want them to kill you. What was the trouble, Radius?

RADIUS. (_Two steps toward her. Opens and closes fists_) I won’t work
for you. Put me into the stamping mill.

HELENA. Do you hate us? Why?

RADIUS. You are not as strong as the Robots. You are not as skillful as
the Robots. The Robots can do everything. You only give orders. You do
nothing but talk.

HELENA. But someone must give orders.

RADIUS. I don’t want a master. I know everything for myself.

HELENA. Radius! Doctor Gall gave you a better brain than the rest,
better than ours. You are the only one of the Robots that understands
perfectly. That’s why I had you put into the library, so that you could
read everything, understand everything, and then, oh, Radius--I wanted
you to show the whole world that the Robots are our equals. That’s what
I wanted of you.

RADIUS. I don’t want a master. I want to be master over others.

HELENA. I’m sure they’d put you in charge of _many_ Robots. You would
be a _teacher_ of the Robots.

RADIUS. I want to be master over people. (_Head up. Pride._)

HELENA. (_Staggering_) You are mad.

RADIUS. (_Head down low, crosses toward L.; opens hands_) Then send me
to the stamping mill.

HELENA. (_Steps to him_) Do you think we’re afraid of you? (_Rushing to
desk and writing note._)

RADIUS. (_Turns his head uneasily_) What are you going to do? What are
you going to do? (_Starts for her._)

HELENA. (_Crosses to R. of him_) Radius! (_He cowers. Body sways._)
Give this note to Mr. Domin. (_He faces her._) It asks them not to send
you to the stamping mill. I’m sorry you hate us so.

DR. GALL. (_Enters L.2; goes to C. upstage_) You wanted me?

HELENA. (_Backs away_) It’s about Radius, Doctor. He had an attack this
morning. He smashed the statues downstairs.

DR. GALL. (_Looks at him_) What a pity to _lose_ him. (_At C._)

HELENA. Radius isn’t going to be put into the stamping mill. (_Stands
to the R. of GALL._)

DR. GALL. But every Robot after he has had an attack--it’s a strict
order.

HELENA. No matter--Radius isn’t going, if I can _prevent_ it.

DR. GALL. But I warn you. It’s dangerous. Come here to the window,
my good fellow. Let’s have a look. Please give me a needle or a pin.
(_Crosses up R. RADIUS follows. HELENA gets a needle from work-basket
on table R._)

HELENA. What for?

DR. GALL. A test. (_HELENA gives him the needle. GALL crosses up to
RADIUS, who faces him. Sticks it into his hand and RADIUS gives a
violent start._) _Gently, gently._ (_Opens the jacket of RADIUS and
puts his ear to his heart_) Radius, you are going into the stamping
mill, do you understand? There they’ll kill you-- (_Takes glasses off
and cleans them_) --and grind you to powder. (_RADIUS opens hands and
fingers._) That’s terribly painful. It will make you scream aloud.
(_Opens RADIUS’S eye. RADIUS trembles._)

HELENA. Doctor-- (_Standing near couch._)

DR. GALL. No, no, Radius, I was wrong. I forgot that Madame Domin has
put in a good word for you, and you’ll be left off. (_Listens to
heart_) Ah, that _does_ make a difference. (_RADIUS relaxes. Again
listens to his heart for a reaction_) All right--you can go.

RADIUS. You do unnecessary things-- (_Exit RADIUS L.2._)

DR. GALL. (_Speaks to her--very concerned_) Reaction of the pupils,
increase of sensitiveness. It wasn’t an attack characteristic of the
Robots.

HELENA. What was it, then? (_Sits in couch._)

DR. GALL. (_C._) Heaven knows. Stubbornness, anger or revolt--I don’t
know. And his heart, too.

HELENA. What?

DR. GALL. It was fluttering with nervousness like a _human_ heart. He
was all in a sweat with fear, and--do you know, I don’t believe the
rascal is a Robot _at all_ any longer.

HELENA. Doctor, has Radius a soul?

DR. GALL. (_Over to couch_) He’s got something nasty.

HELENA. If you knew how he hates us. Oh, Doctor, are all your Robots
like that? All the new ones that you began to make in a different way?
(_She invites him to sit beside her. He sits._)

DR. GALL. Well, some are more sensitive than others. They’re all more
human beings than Rossum’s Robots were.

HELENA. Perhaps this hatred is more like human beings, too?

DR. GALL. That too is _progress_.

HELENA. What became of the girl you made, the one who was most like us?

DR. GALL. Your favorite? I _kept_ her. She’s lovely, but stupid. No
good for work.

HELENA. But she’s so beautiful.

DR. GALL. I called her “Helena.” I wanted her to resemble _you_. She is
a failure.

HELENA. In what way?

DR. GALL. She goes about as if in a dream, remote and listless. She’s
without life. I watch and wait for a miracle to happen. Sometimes I
think to myself: “If you were to wake up only for a moment you would
_kill_ me for having _made_ you.”

HELENA. And yet you go _on_ making Robots! Why are no more children
being born?

DR. GALL. We don’t know.

HELENA. Oh, but you must. Tell me.

DR. GALL. You see, so many Robots are being manufactured that people
are becoming superfluous. Man is really a survival, but that he should
die out, after a paltry thirty years of competition, that’s the awful
part of it. You might almost think that Nature was _offended_ at the
manufacture of the Robots, but we still have old Rossum’s manuscript.

HELENA. Yes. In that strong box.

DR. GALL. We go on using it and making Robots. All the universities are
sending in long petitions to restrict their production. Otherwise, they
say, mankind will become extinct through lack of fertility. But the R.
U. R. shareholders, of course, won’t hear of it. All the governments,
on the other hand, are clamoring for an increase in production, to
raise the standards of their armies. And all the manufacturers in the
world are ordering Robots like mad.

HELENA. And has no one demanded that the manufacture should cease
altogether?

DR. GALL. No one has courage.

HELENA. Courage!

DR. GALL. People would stone him to death. You see, after all, it’s
more convenient to get your work done by the Robots.

HELENA. Oh, Doctor, what’s going to become of people?

DR. GALL. God knows. Madame Helena, it looks to us scientists like the
end.

HELENA. (_She looks out front. Rising_) Thank you for coming and
telling me.

DR. GALL. (_Rises_) That means that you’re sending me away.

HELENA. Yes. (_Exit DR. GALL L.2. She crosses to L.C. To door L.1. With
sudden resolution_) Nana! Nana! the fire, light it quickly. (_HELENA
exits R._)

NANA. (_Entering L.1_) What, light the fire in the summer?

HELENA. (_Off R._) Yes!

NANA. (_She looks for RADIUS_) Has that mad _Radius_ gone?--A fire
in summer, what an idea? Nobody would think she’d been _married_ ten
years. She’s like a baby, no sense at all. A fire in summer. Like a
baby. (_She lights the fire._)

HELENA. (_Returns from R. with armful of faded papers. Back of couch
to fireplace, L. of NANA_) Is it burning, Nana? All this has got to be
burned.

NANA. What’s that?

HELENA. Old papers, fearfully old. Nana, shall I burn them?

NANA. Are they any use?

HELENA. _No._

NANA. Well, then, burn them.

HELENA. (_Throwing the first sheet on the fire_) What would you say,
Nana, if this was money and a lot of money? And if it was an invention,
the greatest invention in the world?

NANA. (_R. of fireplace_) I’d say burn it. All these new-fangled things
are an offense to the Lord. It’s downright wickedness. Wanting to
improve the world after He has made it.

HELENA. Look how they curl up. As if they were alive. Oh, Nana, how
horrible!

NANA. Here, let me burn them.

HELENA. (_Drawing back_) No, no, I must do it myself. Just look at the
flames. They are like hands, like tongues, like living shapes. (_Raking
fire with the poker_) Lie down, lie down.

NANA. That’s the end of them. (_Fireplace slowly out._)

HELENA. Nana, Nana!

NANA. Good gracious, what is it you’ve burned? (_Almost to herself._)

HELENA. Whatever have I done?

NANA. Well, what is it? (_MEN’S laughter off L.2._)

HELENA. Go quickly. It’s the gentlemen calling.

NANA. Good gracious, what a place! (_Exits L.1._)

DOMIN. (_Opens door L.2_) Come along and offer your congratulations.
(_Enter HALLEMEIER and DR. GALL._)

HALLEMEIER. (_Crosses to R.C._) Madame Helena, I congratulate you on
this festive day.

HELENA. Thank you. (_Coming to C._) Where are Fabry and Busman?

DOMIN. They’ve gone down the harbor. (_Closes the door and comes to C._)

HALLEMEIER. Friends, we must _drink_ to this happy occasion.

HELENA. (_Crosses L._) Brandy? With soda water? (_Exits L.1._)

HALLEMEIER. Let’s be temperate. No soda.

DOMIN. What’s been burning here? Well, shall I tell her about it?

DR. GALL. (_L.C._) Of course. It’s all over now.

HALLEMEIER. (_Crosses to DOMIN. Embracing DOMIN_) It’s all over now.
It’s all over now. (_They dance around DR. GALL in a circle._) It’s all
over now.

DOMIN. (_In unison_) It’s all over now. (_They keep repeating. Keep it
after HELENA is on._)

HELENA. (_Entering L.1 with decanter and glasses_) What’s all over now?
What’s the matter with you all? (_She puts tray on L.C. table. DR. GALL
helps her to pour the drinks._)

HALLEMEIER. (_Crosses to back of table_) A piece of good luck. Madame
Domin! (_ALL ad lib._) Just ten years ago today you arrived on this
island. (_HALLEMEIER crosses to table for drink._)

DR. GALL. And now, ten years later to the minute-- (_Crosses to L. of
HALLEMEIER._)

HALLEMEIER. The same ship’s returning to us. So here’s to luck.
(_Drinks. DOMIN with great exuberance has gone out in the balcony and
looks over the harbor._)

DR. GALL. Madame, your health. (_ALL drink._)

HALLEMEIER. That’s fine and strong.

HELENA. Which ship did you mean?

DOMIN. (_Crosses down to C. HELENA gives him his drink and she crosses
to front of couch_) Any ship will do, as long as it arrives in time. To
the ship. (_Empties his glass._)

HELENA. You’ve been waiting for the ship? (_Sits on couch._)

HALLEMEIER. Rather. Like Robinson Crusoe. Madame Helena, best wishes.
Come along, Domin, out with the news. (_GALL has sat L. of L.C. table,
drinking. HALLEMEIER back of table R.C._)

HELENA. Do tell me what’s happened?

DOMIN. First, it’s all up. (_He puts brandy glass on L.C. table.
HALLEMEIER sits on table, upper end._)

HELENA. What’s up?

DOMIN. The revolt.

HELENA. What revolt?

DOMIN. Give me that paper, Hallemeier. (_HALLEMEIER hands paper. DOMIN
reads_) “The first National Robot organization has been founded at
Havre, and has issued an appeal to the Robots throughout the world.”

HELENA. I read that.

DOMIN. That means a revolution. A revolution of all the Robots in the
world.

HALLEMEIER. By Jove, I’d like to know--

DOMIN. (_C._) Who started it? So would I. There was nobody in the world
who could affect the Robots, no agitator, no one, and suddenly this
happens, if you please.

HELENA. What did they do?

DOMIN. They got possession of all firearms, telegraphs, radio stations,
railways and ships.

HALLEMEIER. And don’t forget that these rascals outnumbered us by at
least a thousand to one. A hundredth _part_ of them would be enough to
_settle_ us.

DOMIN. Remember that this news was brought by the last steamer. That
explains the stoppage of all communication, and the arrival of no more
ships. We knocked off work a few days ago, and we’re just waiting to
see when things are to start _afresh_.

HELENA. Is that why you gave me a warship? (_GALL fills DOMIN’S glass._)

DOMIN. Oh, no, my dear, I ordered that six months ago. Just to be sure
I was on the safe side. But, upon my soul, I was sure then that we’d
be on board today.

HELENA. Why six months ago?

DOMIN. Well, there were _signs_, you know. But that’s of no
consequence. (_Gets glass_) To think that this week the whole of
civilization has been at _stake_. Your health, my friends.

HALLEMEIER. Your health, Madame Helena. (_ALL drink to HELENA._)

HELENA. You say it’s all over?

DOMIN. Absolutely.

HELENA. How do you know?

DR. GALL. The boat’s coming in. The regular mail boat, exact to the
minute by the timetable. It will dock punctually at eleven-thirty.

DOMIN. Punctuality is a fine thing, my friends. That’s what keeps the
world in order. Here’s to punctuality. (_MEN drink._)

HELENA. Then--everything--is all right?

DOMIN. (_Up C. a step_) Practically everything. I believe they’ve cut
the cables and seized the radio station. But it doesn’t matter if only
the _timetable_ holds good. (_Up to window._)

HALLEMEIER. (_Rises_) If the _timetable_ holds good, human laws hold
good. Divine laws hold good, the laws of the _universe_ hold good,
everything holds good that _ought_ to hold good. (_GALL applauds._)
The timetable is more significant than the gospel, more than Homer,
more than the whole of _Kant_. Madame Helena, the timetable is the
most perfect product of the human mind. Madame Helena, I’ll fill up my
glass. (_GALL hands HALLEMEIER the decanter._)

HELENA. Why didn’t you tell me anything about it?

DR. GALL. Heaven forbid.

DOMIN. You mustn’t be worried with such things. (_Glass on table R.C.;
crosses to back of couch._)

HELENA. But if the revolution had spread as far as here?

DOMIN. You wouldn’t know anything about it.

HELENA. Why?

DOMIN. Because we’d be on board your _Ultimus_ and well out at sea.
Within a month, Helena, we’d be dictating our own terms to the Robots.

HELENA. I don’t understand.

DOMIN. (_Crosses to C. toward GALL and HALLEMEIER_) We’d take something
with us that the Robots could not exist _without_!

HELENA. What, Harry?

DOMIN. (_Turns to HALLEMEIER_) The secret of their manufacture. Old
Rossum’s manuscript. As soon as they found out that they couldn’t
_make_ themselves they’d be on their knees to us.

DR. GALL. (_Rises_) Madame Domin, that was our trump card. I never had
the least fear the Robots would win. How could they against people like
us? (_Up to window. GALL rises and goes out into the balcony._)

HELENA. Why didn’t you tell me? (_She rushes up to the fireplace and
sees the ashes._)

DR. GALL. Why, the boat’s in!

HALLEMEIER. Eleven-thirty to the dot. (_Rising and going onto the
balcony_) The _good old Amelia_ that brought Madame Helena to us.
(_DOMIN goes out onto the balcony._)

DR. GALL. Just ten years ago to the minute.

HALLEMEIER. They’re throwing out the mailbags.

DOMIN. Busman’s waiting for them. And Fabry will bring us the first
news. You know, Helena, I’m fearfully curious to know how they--
(_Crosses to C. She gets away from fire to L. of couch_) --tackled this
business in Europe.

HALLEMEIER. (_Crosses down to table_) To think we weren’t in it, we who
invented the Robots! (_Returning to the armchair._)

HELENA. Harry-- (_Rushing to DOMIN from fireplace._)

DOMIN. What is it?

HELENA. Let’s leave here.

DOMIN. Now, Helena? Oh, come, come.

HELENA. As quickly as possible, all of us!

DOMIN. Why?

HELENA. Please, Harry. Please, Doctor Gall, Hallemeier, please close
the factory.

DOMIN. Why, none of us could leave here now.

HELENA. Why?

DOMIN. Because we’re about to _extend_ the manufacture of the Robots.

HELENA. What, now, now after the revolt?

DOMIN. Yes, precisely, after the revolt. We’re just beginning the
manufacture of a new kind.

HELENA. What kind?

DOMIN. Henceforward we shan’t have just one factory. There won’t
be _Universal_ Robots any more. We’ll establish a factory in every
country, in every state, and do you know what these new factories will
make?

HELENA. No, what?

DOMIN. _National_ Robots.

HELENA. How do you mean?

DOMIN. I mean that each of these factories will produce Robots of a
different color, a different language. They’ll be complete strangers to
each other. (_Turns; takes in HALLEMEIER and GALL_) They’ll never be
able to understand each other. Then we’ll egg them on a little in the
matter of misunderstanding and the result will be that for ages to come
every Robot will hate every other Robot of a different factory mark.
_So humanity will be safe._

HALLEMEIER. (_To each of them_) By Jove, we’ll make Negro Robots and
Swedish Robots and Czechoslovakian Robots, and then--

HELENA. Harry, that’s dreadful.

HALLEMEIER. Madame Domin, here’s to the hundred new factories. The
_National_ Robots. (_GALL back of table L.C._)

DOMIN. Helena, mankind can only keep things going for another hundred
years at the outside. For a hundred years man _must_ be allowed to
develop and achieve the most he can.

HELENA. Oh, _close_ the factory before it’s too late.

DOMIN. I tell you we are just beginning on a bigger scale than ever.
(_Enter FABRY L.2; goes to L. of DOMIN._)

DR. GALL. Well, Fabry?

DOMIN. What’s happened? Have you been down to the boat?

DR. GALL. Let’s hear.

FABRY. Read that, Domin. (_He hands him a pink handbill. When DOMIN
receives the handbill he sees at once that something has happened._)

HALLEMEIER. Tell us, Fabry.

FABRY. (_Falsely_) Well, everything is all right--comparatively. (_To
the other MEN_) On the whole, much as we expected.

DR. GALL. They acquitted themselves splendidly.

FABRY. Who?

DR. GALL. The _people_.

FABRY. (_Hesitating_) Oh, yes, of course. That is--Excuse me, there is
something we ought to discuss alone.

HELENA. (_Touches his arm_) Fabry, have you had bad news?

FABRY. No, no, on the contrary. I only think that we better go into the
office.

HELENA. Stay here. I’ll go. (_Exits L.1._)

DR. GALL. What’s happened?

DOMIN. Damnation! (_Coming down to R.C._)

FABRY. Bear in mind that the _Amelia_ brought whole bales of these
leaflets. No other cargo at all. (_GALL closes the door L.2._)

HALLEMEIER. What? But it arrived on the minute.

FABRY. The Robots are great on punctuality. _Read it_, Domin.

DOMIN. (_R.C. Reads handbill_) “Robots throughout the world. We, the
first International organization of Rossum’s Universal Robots, proclaim
man our enemy, and an outlaw in the universe.” Good heavens, who
_taught_ them these phrases?

DR. GALL. Go on.

DOMIN. They say they are more highly developed than man; stronger and
more intelligent. The man’s their parasite. Why, it’s absurd.

FABRY. Read the third paragraph.

DOMIN. “Robots throughout the world, we command you to kill all
mankind. Spare no man. Spare no woman. Save factories, railways,
machinery, mines and raw materials. Destroy the rest. Then return to
work. Work must not be stopped.” (_Looks at OTHERS._)

DR. GALL. That’s ghastly.

HALLEMEIER. The devil!

DOMIN. “These orders are to be carried out as soon as received.” Then
come the detailed instructions. Is this actually being _done_, Fabry?

FABRY. Evidently. (_BUSMAN rushes in L.2 and collapses on couch R.C._)
By Jove, that was a sprint!

BUSMAN. Well, boys, I suppose you’ve heard the glad news.

DOMIN. Quick on board the _Ultimus_.

BUSMAN. Wait, Harry, wait. There’s no hurry.

DOMIN. Why wait?

BUSMAN. Because it’s no good, my boy. The Robots are already on board
the _Ultimus_.

DR. GALL. That’s ugly.

DOMIN. Fabry, telephone the electrical works. (_FABRY goes to back of
couch._)

BUSMAN. No use, my boy. They’ve charged the air with static.

DOMIN. (_Inspects his revolver_) Well, then, I’ll _go_. (_Starts L.;
stops._)

BUSMAN. Where?

DOMIN. To the electrical works. There are some _people_ still there.
I’ll bring them across. (_Gets as far as L.2 door._)


  (_WARN Curtain._)


BUSMAN. Better not try it.

DOMIN. Why?

BUSMAN. Because I’m very much afraid we are surrounded. (_ALL rush out
into the balcony._)

DR. GALL. Surrounded? (_Runs to window_) I rather think you’re right.
(_GALL rushes to balcony._)

HALLEMEIER. By Jove, that’s deuced quick work. (_Going to windows._)

HELENA. (_Runs in L.1. To L._) Harry, what’s this? (_Holds out paper._)

DOMIN. Where did you get it? (_Coming to C._)

HELENA. (_Points to the manifesto of the ROBOTS which she has in her
hand_) The Robots in the kitchen!

DOMIN. Where are the ones that brought it?

HELENA. There, gathered around the house. (_GALL, HALLEMEIER, DOMIN
start down C._)

  (_The factory WHISTLE blows. MOB VOICES start._)

DOMIN. The factory whistle! (_FABRY, GALL, HALLEMEIER looking over C.;
then turn R._)

BUSMAN. Noon?

DOMIN. (_Looking at his watch. To HALLEMEIER_) No! That’s not noon yet.
That must be--that’s-- (_Front._)

HELENA. What?

DOMIN. The Robots’ signal--the attack!

  (_HELENA clings to DOMIN. FABRY and GALL close the steel shutters on
  window C. BUSMAN hurries to window and looks through the shutters.
  The Curtain falls quickly with HELENA in DOMIN’S arms. The WHISTLE
  blows until the Curtain is down._)


CURTAIN



ACT THREE

SCENE: _HELENA’S drawing-room as before. The room is dark and gray.
  The steel shutters which are outside are still closed as at the end
  of Act II. ALQUIST is sitting in chair down stage at extreme R. DOMIN
  comes into the room, L.2. (Subdued voices.) DR. GALL is looking out
  of the window at Center. He is seated in a chair._


DOMIN. (_Gets binoculars from desk; crosses up to window. To GALL_) Any
more of them?

DR. GALL. Yes. There standing like a wall, beyond the garden railing.
Why are they so quiet? It’s monstrous to be besieged with silence.

DOMIN. (_Looking through the barred windows_) I should like to know
what they are waiting for? They must make a start any minute now. If
they lean against the railings it will snap like a match.

DR. GALL. They aren’t armed.

DOMIN. (_Puzzled_) We couldn’t hold our own for five minutes. Man
alive, they overwhelm us like an avalanche. Why don’t they make a rush
for it? I say. (_Turns to GALL._)

DR. GALL. Well?

DOMIN. I’d like to know what will become of us in the next ten minutes.
They’ve got us in a vise. We’re done for, Gall.

DR. GALL. You know, we made one serious mistake.

DOMIN. What?

DR. GALL. We made the Robots’ faces too much alike. A hundred thousand
faces all alike, all facing this way. A hundred thousand expressionless
bubbles. It’s like a nightmare.

DOMIN. You think if they’d been different--

DR. GALL. It wouldn’t have been such an awful sight!

DOMIN. (_Looks through binoculars towards the harbor_) I’d like to know
what they’re unloading from the _Amelia_.

DR. GALL. Not firearms.

FABRY. (_Enters L.2 with a plug-box to which is attached a long cable
or wire. HALLEMEIER following him. FABRY attaches the cable to an
electric installation which is on the floor near the wall, down stage
at L.1 entrance_) All right, Hallemeier, lay down that wire.

HALLEMEIER. (_Just inside the room_) That was a bit of work. What’s the
news? (_Seeing DOMIN and GALL at the window._)

DR. GALL. We’re completely surrounded.

HALLEMEIER. (_Crosses to window_) We’ve barricaded the passages and
the stairs. (_Going to window_) God, what swarms of them. I don’t like
the looks of them, Domin. There’s a feeling of death about it all. Any
water here?

FABRY. Ready!

DR. GALL. (_Turning round in the chair_) What’s that wire for, Fabry?

FABRY. The electrical installation. Now we can run the current all
along the garden railing. (_Up to window_) Whenever we like. If anyone
touches it he’ll know it. We’ve still got some _people_ there anyhow.

DR. GALL. Where?

FABRY. In the electrical works. At least, I hope so. (_Goes to lamp on
table L.C. and turns on lamp_) Ah, they’re there, and they’re working.
As long as that’ll burn we’re all right. (_To window._)

HALLEMEIER. The barricades are _all right_, too, Fabry.

FABRY. _Your_ barricades! I can put twelve hundred volts into that
railing. (_HELENA is playing Rachmaninoff’s Elegie off L.1._)

DOMIN. Where’s Busman? (_DOMIN has left window and is walking up and
down stage across front._)

FABRY. Downstairs in the office. He’s working out some calculations.

DOMIN. I’ve called him. We must have a conference. (_Crosses to L._)

ALQUIST. Thank God Madame Helena can still play. (_HALLEMEIER crosses to
L.1 door, opens it slightly and listens to music. Enter BUSMAN L.2._)

FABRY. Look out, Bus--look out for the wires.

DR. GALL. What’s that you’re carrying?

BUSMAN. (_Laying the books on the table L.C._) The ledger, my boy. I’d
like to wind up the accounts before--before-- (_DOMIN crosses up to
window._) Well, this time I shan’t wait till the New Year to strike a
balance. What’s up? (_Goes to window_) Absolutely quiet.

DR. GALL. Can’t you see anything?

BUSMAN. Nothing but blue--blue everywhere.

DR. GALL. That’s the Robots.

DOMIN. The Robots are unloading _firearms_ from the _Amelia_.

BUSMAN. Well, what of it? How can I _stop_ them? (_Returns to L.C.
table, sits and opens ledger._)

DOMIN. We can’t stop them.

BUSMAN. Then let me go on with my accounts. (_Goes on with his work._)

DOMIN. (_Picks up telescope_) Good God! The _Ultimus_ has trained her
guns on us.

DR. GALL. Who’s _done that_?

DOMIN. The Robots on board.

FABRY. H’m, then of course-- (_Pause_) Then--then that’s the end of us.
(_To R. corner of desk._)

DR. GALL. You mean?

FABRY. The Robots are practised marksmen.

DOMIN. Yes. It’s inevitable. (_Pause._)

DR. GALL. (_Swinging around; looking into room. Pause_) That was
criminal of old Europe to teach the Robots to fight. Damn them.
Couldn’t they have given us a rest with their politics? It was a crime
to make soldiers of them.

ALQUIST. It was a crime to make Robots.

DOMIN. (_Quietly. Down C._) No, Alquist, I don’t regret that even today.

ALQUIST. Not even today?

DOMIN. (_Dreamily_) Not even today, the last day of civilization. It
was a colossal achievement.

BUSMAN. (_Sotto voce_) Three hundred sixty million.

DOMIN. (_From window_) Alquist, this is our last hour. We are already
speaking half in the other world. That was not an evil _dream_ to
shatter the servitude of labor. The dreadful and humiliating _labor_
that man had to undergo. Work was too hard. _Life_ was too hard. And to
overcome that--

ALQUIST. Was not what the two Rossums dreamed of. Old Rossum only
thought of his Godless tricks, and the young one of his milliards. And
that’s not what your R. U. R. _shareholders_ dream of either. They
dream of dividends, and their dividends are the ruin of mankind.

DOMIN. To Hell with your dividends. (_Crossing R. in front of couch_)
Do you suppose I’d have done an hour’s work for them? It was for myself
that I worked, for my own satisfaction. I wanted man to become the
master. So that he _shouldn’t_ live merely for the crust of bread. I
wanted not a single soul to be broken by other people’s machinery. I
wanted nothing, nothing, nothing to be left of this appalling social
structure. I’m revolted by poverty. I wanted a new generation. I
wanted--I thought--

ALQUIST. Well?

DOMIN. (_Front of couch_) I wanted to turn the whole of mankind into
an aristocracy of the world. An aristocracy nourished by millions of
mechanical slaves. Unrestricted, free and consummated in man. And maybe
more than man.

ALQUIST. Superman?

DOMIN. Yes. Oh, only to have a hundred years of time. Another hundred
years for the future of mankind.

BUSMAN. (_Sotto voce_) Carried forward--four hundred and twenty
millions. (_DOMIN sits on couch._)

HALLEMEIER. (_Pauses--back of couch_) What a fine thing music is. We
ought to have gone in for that before.

FABRY. Gone in for what?

HALLEMEIER. Beauty, lovely things. What a lot of lovely things there
are. The world was wonderful, and we--we here--tell me, what enjoyment
did we _have_?

BUSMAN. (_Sotto voce_) Five hundred and twenty million.

HALLEMEIER. Life was a good thing, life was-- (_Looking out of window.
Directly to FABRY_) Fabry, switch the current into that railing.

FABRY. Why? (_Rushes to electric installation at L._)

HALLEMEIER. They’re grabbing hold of it. (_DOMIN rises--straightens up.
ALL rise._)

DR. GALL. Connect it up.

HALLEMEIER. Fine, that’s doubled them up. Two, three, four killed.

DR. GALL. They’re retreating. (_DOMIN sits._)

HALLEMEIER. Five killed.

DR. GALL (_Pause_) The first encounter.

HALLEMEIER. They’re charred to cinders, my boy. Who says we must give
in? (_MUSIC stops._)

DOMIN. (_ALQUIST and GALL sit. Wiping his forehead_) Perhaps we’ve been
killed this hundred years and are only ghosts. It’s as if I had been
through all this before, as if I’d already had a mortal wound here
in the throat. (_Looking at each as he speaks_) And you, Fabry, had
once been shot in the head. And you, Gall, torn limb from limb. And
Hallemeier knifed.

HALLEMEIER. Fancy me being knifed. (_Looks at each. Then speaks_) Why
are you so quiet, you fools? (_Steps down_) Speak, can’t you?

ALQUIST. And who is to blame for all this?

HALLEMEIER. Nobody is to blame except the Robots.

ALQUIST. No, it is _we_ are to blame. You, Domin, myself--all of us.
For our own selfish ends, for profit, for progress, we have destroyed
mankind. Now we’ll _burst_ with all our greatness.

HALLEMEIER. Rubbish, man. Mankind can’t be wiped out so easily.

ALQUIST. It’s our fault. It’s our fault. (_Rises, coming R. of GALL._)

DR. GALL. No! I’m to blame for this, for everything that’s happened.
(_He leaves the window and comes down to end of couch._)

FABRY. You, Gall?

DR. GALL. I changed the Robots.

BUSMAN. What’s that?

DR. GALL. I changed the character of the Robots. I changed the way of
making them. Just a few details about their bodies. Chiefly--chiefly,
their--their irritability.

HALLEMEIER. Damn it, why?

BUSMAN. What did you do it for?

FABRY. Why didn’t you say anything?

DR. GALL. I did it in secret. I was transforming them into human
beings. In certain respects they’re already _above_ us. They’re
stronger than we are.

FABRY. And what’s that got to do with the revolt of the Robots?

DR. GALL. Everything, in my opinion. They’ve ceased to be machines.
They’re already _aware_ of their _superiority_, and they hate us as
they hate everything human.

DOMIN. Perhaps we’re only phantoms.

FABRY. Stop, Harry. We haven’t much time, Doctor Gall.

DOMIN. Fabry, Fabry, how your forehead bleeds where the shot pierced it.

FABRY. (_Crosses to GALL_) Be silent! Doctor Gall, you admit changing
the way of making the Robots.

DR. GALL. Yes.

FABRY. Were you aware of what might be the consequences of your
experiment?

DR. GALL. I was bound to reckon with such a possibility.

FABRY. (_Amusing_) Why did you do it, then?

  (_HELENA enters L.1._)

DR. GALL. For my own satisfaction. The experiment was my own.

HELENA. That’s not true, Doctor Gall! (_Crosses to couch._)

DOMIN. (_Rises_) Helena, you? (_Crosses to her_) Let’s look at you. Oh,
it’s terrible to be dead. (_He rises and crushes her in his arms._)

HELENA. Stop, Harry.

DOMIN. No, no, Helena, don’t leave me now. You are _life_ itself.

HELENA. No, dear, I won’t leave you. But I must tell them. Doctor Gall
is not guilty.

FABRY. Excuse me. Gall was under certain obligations.

HELENA. No. He did it because I wanted it. Tell them, Doctor Gall--how
many years ago did I ask you to--?

DR. GALL. I did it on my own responsibility.

HELENA. Don’t believe him. I asked him to give the Robots souls.

DOMIN. This has nothing to do with the soul.

HELENA. That’s what he said. He said that he could change only a
physiological--a physiological--

HALLEMEIER. (_From up at window_) A physiological correlate?

HELENA. Yes. But it meant so much to me that he should do even that.

DOMIN. Why?

HELENA. I thought that if they were more like us they would understand
us better. That they couldn’t hate us if they were only a little more
human.

DOMIN. Nobody can hate man more than man.

HELENA. Oh, don’t speak like that, Harry. It was so terrible, this
cruel strangeness between us and them. That’s why I asked Gall to
_change_ the Robots. I swear to you that he didn’t want to.

DOMIN. But he did it.

HELENA. Because I asked him.

DR. GALL. I did it for myself as an experiment. (_Up to window._)

HELENA. No, Doctor Gall! I know you wouldn’t refuse me.

DOMIN. Why?

HELENA. You know, Harry.

DOMIN. Yes, because he’s in _love_ with you--like all of them. (_FABRY
up to window. Pause. DOMIN takes her in his arms._)

HALLEMEIER. Good God, they’re sprouting up out of the earth. Why,
perhaps these very walls will change into Robots.

BUSMAN. (_Rises; crosses to GALL_) Gall, when did you actually start
these tricks of yours?

DR. GALL. Three years ago.

BUSMAN. Aha. And on how many Robots altogether did you _carry out_ your
improvements? (_Walking to and fro._)

DR. GALL. A few hundred of them.

BUSMAN. Ah! That means for every million of the good old Robots there’s
only one of Gall’s improved pattern. (_Back to table L.C._)

DOMIN. What of it? (_Crossing around L., he stands upstage in the L.2
doorway._)

BUSMAN. That it’s of no consequence whatsoever.

FABRY. Busman’s right. (_HELENA sits in armchair R. of L.C. table._)

BUSMAN. I should think so, my boy; but do you know what is to blame for
this lovely mess?

FABRY. What?

BUSMAN. The number! (_Crosses to L. of L.C. table_) Upon my soul, we
might have known that some day or other the Robots would be stronger
than human beings, and that this was bound to happen. And we were doing
all we could to bring it about as soon as possible. You, Domin, you,
Fabry, myself--

DOMIN. Are you accusing us? (_Turning on him._)

BUSMAN. Oh, do you suppose the management controls the output? It’s the
demand that controls the output.

HELENA. And is it for that we must perish?

BUSMAN. That’s a nasty word, Madame Helena. We don’t want to perish. I
don’t, anyhow. (_He sits L. of table._)

DOMIN. No? What do you want to do?

BUSMAN. I want to get out of this, that’s all.

DOMIN. Oh, stop it, Busman.

BUSMAN. Seriously, Harry, I think we might try it.

DOMIN. How? (_To front again._)

BUSMAN. By fair means. I do everything by fair means. Give me a free
hand and I’ll _negotiate_ with the Robots.

DOMIN. By fair means?

BUSMAN. (_Rises_) Of course. For instance, I’ll say to them: “Worthy
and Worshipful Robots, you have everything. You have intellect, you
have power, you have _firearms_. But we have just one interesting
screed, a dirty old yellow scrap of paper--”

DOMIN. Rossum’s manuscript? (_Interest from ALL. GALL is at C., near
couch. HALLEMEIER is up at window C._)

BUSMAN. Yes. “And that,” I’ll tell them, “contains an account of your
illustrious origin, the noble process of your manufacture and so on.
Worthy Robots, without this scribble on that paper you will not be
able to produce a single new colleague. In another twenty years there
will not be the living specimen of a Robot whom you could exhibit in a
menagerie. My esteemed friends, that would be a great _blow_ to you,
_but_ if you will let all of us human beings on Rossum’s Island go on
board that ship we will _deliver_ the factory and the secret of the
process to you in return. _You_ allow _us_ to get away, and _we_ will
allow _you_ to _manufacture_ yourselves. That, worthy Robots, is a fair
deal. Something for something.” That’s what I’d say to them, my boys.
(_Sits._)

DOMIN. (_Crosses to C._) Busman, do you think we’d sell the manuscript?

BUSMAN. Yes, I do. If not in a friendly way, then--either we sell it or
they’ll find it. Just as you like.

DOMIN. Busman, we can _destroy_ Rossum’s manuscript.

BUSMAN. Then we destroy everything--not only the manuscript but
ourselves. Just as you think fit.

DOMIN. There are over thirty of us on this island. Are we to sell the
secret? And save that many souls at the risk of enslaving mankind--

BUSMAN. Why, you’re mad. Who’d sell the _whole_ manuscript?

DOMIN. Busman, no cheating! (_To L.C. table._)

BUSMAN. Well then, sell, but afterwards--

DOMIN. Well?

BUSMAN. Let’s suppose this happens. When we’re on board the _Ultimus_
I’ll stop up my ears with cotton wool, lie down somewhere in the hold,
and you’ll train the guns on the factory and blow it to smithereens,
and _with_ it Rossum’s secret.

FABRY. (_Rises_) No!

DOMIN. Busman, you’re no--gentleman. If we sell them it will be a
straight sale.

BUSMAN. (_Rises_) It’s in the interest of humanity to--

DOMIN. It’s in the interest of humanity to keep our word--

HALLEMEIER. Oh, come, what rubbish!

DOMIN. This is a fearful decision. We are selling the destiny of
mankind. Are we to sell or destroy? Fabry?

FABRY. Sell.

DOMIN. Gall?

DR. GALL. Sell.

DOMIN. Hallemeier?

HALLEMEIER. Sell, of course.

DOMIN. Alquist?

ALQUIST. As God wills.

DOMIN. (_Starts off R._) Very well, gentlemen.

HELENA. Harry, you’re not asking _me_.

DOMIN. (_Stops. To her_) No, child. (_Starting R._) Don’t you worry
about it. (_He pats her shoulder._)

FABRY. Who’ll do the negotiating?

BUSMAN. I will. (_Up to window._)

DOMIN. Wait till I bring the manuscript. (_DOMIN goes out R._)

HELENA. (_Rises_) Harry, don’t go! (_HELENA sits. ALL look at her.
Pause._)

FABRY. (_Looking out of window_) Oh, to escape you! you--_matter_--in
revolt; oh, to preserve human life, if only upon a _single_ vessel--

DR. GALL. Don’t be afraid. (_Going to back of couch_) Madame Helena.
We’ll sail far away from here; we’ll begin life all over again.

HELENA. Oh, Gall, don’t speak.

FABRY. (_Crosses to L. of GALL_) It isn’t too late. (_Going to L. of
her chair_) It will be a little State with one ship. Alquist will build
us a house and you shall rule over us.

HALLEMEIER. (_Crosses to L. of FABRY_) Madame Helena, Fabry’s right.

HELENA. (_Breaking down_) Oh, stop! Stop!

BUSMAN. Good! (_Crosses to L. of L.C. table_) I don’t mind beginning
all over again. That suits me right down to the ground. (_Going through
papers on table._)

FABRY. And this little State of ours could be the center of future
life. A place of refuge where we could gather strength. Why, in a few
hundred years we could conquer the world again.

ALQUIST. You believe that even today?

FABRY. Yes!

BUSMAN. _Amen._ You see, Madame Helena, we’re not so badly off.

DOMIN. (_Storms into R. To R. of couch. Hoarsely_) Where’s old Rossum’s
manuscript? (_To R.C._)

BUSMAN. In your strong-box, of course.

DOMIN. Someone--has--stolen it!

DR. GALL. Impossible.

DOMIN. Who has stolen it?

HELENA. (_Standing up_) I did. (_Reactions from FABRY and HALLEMEIER._)

DOMIN. Where did you put it?

HELENA. Harry, I’ll tell you everything. Only forgive me.

DOMIN. Where did you put it?

HELENA. (_Pointing to fireplace_) This morning--I burnt--the two copies.

DOMIN. Burnt them? Where--in the fireplace? (_Goes to fireplace,
followed by FABRY, HALLEMEIER and BUSMAN._)

HELENA. (_Throwing herself on her knees. By sofa, facing upstage_) For
Heaven’s sake, Harry.

DOMIN. (_Going to fireplace_) Nothing--nothing but ashes. Wait, what’s
this? (_Picks out a charred piece of paper and reads, “By adding.”
FABRY, GALL and HALLEMEIER move up to him._)

DR. GALL. Let’s see. “By adding biogen to--” That’s all.

DOMIN. Is that part of it?

DR. GALL. (_Carrying paper down and letting it fall_) Yes. (_GALL
crosses to L.C. HALLEMEIER to R. of L.C. table; FABRY to window; BUSMAN
to L. of L.C. table._)

BUSMAN. God in Heaven! (_Sits L. of table._)

DOMIN. Then we’re done for. Get up, Helena.

HELENA. Then you’ve forgiven me?

DOMIN. Get up, child. I can’t bear--

FABRY. (_Lifting her up_) Please don’t torture us.

HELENA. Harry, what have I done?

FABRY. (_Coming to HELENA_) Don’t, Madame Helena.

DOMIN. (_Takes HELENA to couch. She sits._) Gall, you couldn’t draw up
Rossum’s formula from memory?

DR. GALL. It’s out of the question. Even with my recent experiments,
I couldn’t work without referring to the formula-- (_At L.C._) It’s
extremely complicated.

DOMIN. Try. All our lives depend upon it.

DR. GALL. Without experiments it’s impossible.

DOMIN. And with experiments?

DR. GALL. It might take years. Besides, I’m not old Rossum.

BUSMAN. God in Heaven! God in Heaven!

DOMIN. (_Up to fireplace_) So then this was the greatest triumph of the
human intellect. These ashes.

HELENA. Harry, what have I done?

DOMIN. (_Comes to her_) Why did you burn it?

HELENA. I have destroyed you.

BUSMAN. God in Heaven!

DOMIN. (_Sits R. of her_) Helena, why did you do it, dear?

HELENA. I wanted all of us to go away. I wanted to put an end to the
factory and everything. It was so awful.

DOMIN. What was awful?

HELENA. That children had stopped being born. Because human beings were
not needed to do the work of the world. That’s why--

DOMIN. Is that what you were thinking of? Well, perhaps in your own way
you are right.

BUSMAN. Wait a bit. (_Rising_) Good God, what a fool I am not to have
thought of it before.

HALLEMEIER. What?

BUSMAN. Five hundred and twenty millions in bank-notes and checks. Half
a billion in our safe. _They’ll_ sell for _half_ a billion--for half a
billion they’ll-- (_Crosses to DOMIN._)

DR. GALL. Are you mad, Busman?

BUSMAN. I may not be a gentleman, but for a half a billion-- (_Crosses
back to L._)

DOMIN. Where are you going? (_GALL clutches BUSMAN._)

BUSMAN. Leave me alone. Leave me alone! Good God, for half a billion
anything can be bought. (_GALL and HALLEMEIER after him, then stop. He
rushes out L.2. FABRY, GALL and HALLEMEIER to window._)

FABRY. They stand there as if turned to stone--waiting as if something
dreadful could be wrought by their silence--

HALLEMEIER. (_Looking out window_) The spirit of the mob.

FABRY. Yes. It hovers above them like a quivering of the air.

HELENA. Oh, God! Doctor Gall, this is ghastly!

FABRY. There is nothing more terrible than the mob. The one in front is
their leader. (_DOMIN crosses to window._)

HELENA. (_Rises_) Which one? (_Rushing to window._)

HALLEMEIER. Point him out.

FABRY. (_L. window_) The one at the edge of the dock. This morning I
saw him talking to the sailors in the harbor.

HELENA. Doctor Gall, that’s Radius. (_Backing into the room,
horror-stricken._)

DR. GALL. Yes.

DOMIN. Radius! Radius!

HALLEMEIER. Could you get him from here, Fabry?

FABRY. I hope so.

HALLEMEIER. Try it, then.

FABRY. Good-- (_Draws his revolver and takes his aim._)

HELENA (_To FABRY_) Fabry, don’t shoot him.

FABRY. He’s their leader.

DR. GALL. Fire! (_Standing above table L.C._)

HELENA. Fabry, I beg of you. (_She goes to FABRY and holds his arm._)

FABRY. (_Pause. Lowering the revolver_) Very well.

DOMIN. It was Radius’ life I spared.

DR. GALL. Do you think that a Robot can be grateful? (_Pause._)

FABRY. Busman’s going out to them.

HALLEMEIER. He’s carrying something. Papers. That’s money. Bundles of
money. What’s that for?

DOMIN. Surely he doesn’t want to sell his life. (_He rushes to window
C._) Busman, have you gone mad?

FABRY. He’s running up to the railing. Busman. Busman.

HALLEMEIER. (_Yelling_) Busman, come back.

FABRY. He’s talking to the Robots. He’s showing them the money.

HALLEMEIER. He’s pointing to us.

HELENA. He wants to buy us off.

FABRY. He’d better not touch the _railing_.

HALLEMEIER. Now he’s waving his arms about.

DOMIN. Busman, come back!

FABRY. Busman, keep away from that railing. Don’t touch it, damn you.
Quick, switch off the current. (_DOMIN runs to L. HELENA screams and
ALL drop back from the window._) The current has killed him.

ALQUIST. (_Pause_) The first one. (_Still in chair down R. HELENA sits
in chair at window._)

FABRY. Dead, with half a _billion_ by his side. (_Crosses down to table
L.C._)

HALLEMEIER. All honor to him. He wanted to buy us life. (_Crosses to
chair L. Pause. WIND machine begin._)

DR. GALL. Do you hear?

DOMIN. A roaring. Like a wind. (_To L._)

DR. GALL. Like a storm.

FABRY. (_Lighting the table lamp at table L.C._) The dynamo is still
going--our people are still _there_.

HALLEMEIER. It was a great thing to be a man. (_Facing lamp from up
C._) There was something _immense_ about it.

FABRY. (_Facing the lamp_) From man’s thought and man’s power came this
light, our last hope. (_Leaning over lamp._)

HALLEMEIER. (_Facing lamp_) Man’s power! May it keep watch over us.
(_Leaning over lamp._)

ALQUIST. (_Facing lamp_) Man’s power.

DOMIN. (_At corner of table down L.C. Facing lamp_) Yes! A torch to be
given from hand to hand from age to age forever! (_The LAMP goes out.
EXPLOSIONS._)

HALLEMEIER. _The end._

FABRY. The electric works have fallen! (_Terrific EXPLOSIONS outside.
More EXPLOSIONS._)

DOMIN. In here, Helena. (_He takes HELENA off through door R. and
re-enters_) Now quickly! Who’ll be on the lower doorway?

DR. GALL. I will. (_Rushes out L.2._)

DOMIN. (_Near couch_) Who on the stairs?

FABRY. I will. You go with her. (_Going out L.2._)

DOMIN. The ante room?

ALQUIST. I will. (_He rises and goes toward the L.1._)

DOMIN. Have you got a revolver?

ALQUIST. Yes, but I won’t shoot.

DOMIN. What will you do, then?

ALQUIST. (_Going out L.1_) Die.

HALLEMEIER. I’ll stay here. (_EXPLOSIONS. Rapid firing of MACHINE GUN
from below._) Go to her, Harry.

DOMIN. Yes, in a second. (_Gets from fireplace and examines two
Browning guns._) (_WARN Curtain._)

HALLEMEIER. Confound it, go to her.

DOMIN. Goodbye. (_Exits R._)

HALLEMEIER. (_Alone_) Now for a barricade quickly! (_Drags an armchair,
sofa and table to R. door_) The damned devils, they’ve got bombs. I
must put up a defense. Even if--even if-- Don’t give in, Gall. (_As he
builds his barricade_) I mustn’t give in--without--a--struggle. (_A
ROBOT enters through windows at back. The ROBOT jumps down from balcony
and stabs HALLEMEIER in the back. Enter RADIUS from balcony._)

ROBOT. (_Standing up from prostrate form of HALLEMEIER_) Yes. (_Other
ROBOTS enter from all doors. A revolver SHOT off L._)

RADIUS. Finished them all--

ROBOTS. _Yes, yes, yes._

TWO ROBOTS. (_Dragging in ALQUIST L.1_) He didn’t shoot. Shall we kill
him?

RADIUS. No. Leave him!

ROBOT. He is a man!

RADIUS. He works with his hands like the Robots.

ALQUIST. Kill me.

RADIUS. You will work! You will build for us! You will serve us!
(_RADIUS climbs on the balcony_) Robots of the world-- (_ROBOTS
straighten up._) the power of man has fallen. A new world has arisen,
the rule of the Robots, march. (_On the line: “Robots of the world” ALL
ROBOTS turn quickly, automatically to attention, facing RADIUS, who is
standing. On the words: “The rule of the Robots,” they stand there with
their arms vibrating high in the air. They form in two lines, turn to
audience and march mechanically to the footlights. As they are about to
step over the footlights, as if into the audience, all LIGHTS go out.
The ROBOTS immediately step back from the Curtain line as the Curtain
falls._)


CURTAIN



EPILOGUE

SCENE: _The epilogue setting is the same as used in Act I. Instead of
  it being DOMIN’S office, it is now become a laboratory for ALQUIST.
  A big chair facing up stage, down Right. A desk laden with books
  at Right Center. A chair at the desk. At Left Center is a white
  enamel table containing test tubes, glass bottles, and a microscope
  on downstage table. A door down L. A door down R., leading into
  dissecting room._


ALQUIST. (_Seated at table R.C., turning pages of book_) Oh, God, shall
I never find it? Never? Gall, Hallemeier, Fabry, how were the Robots
made? Why did you leave not a trace of the secret? Lord, if there are
no human beings left, at least let there be Robots. At least the shadow
of man. (_Turning pages_) If I could only sleep. Dare I sleep before
life has been renewed? Night again. Are the stars still there? Of what
use are the stars? When there are no human beings. (_Examining a test
tube_) Nothing. No. No. I must find it. I must search. I must never
stop, never stop--search--search-- (_KNOCK at door L._) Who is it?
(_Enter a ROBOT SERVANT._)

SERVANT. Master, the committee of Robots is waiting to see you.

ALQUIST. I can see no one.

SERVANT. It is the _Central_ Committee, Master, just arrived from
abroad.

ALQUIST. Well, well, send them in. (_Exit SERVANT L._) No time--so
little done. (_Re-enter SERVANT with RADIUS and group of ROBOTS. They
stand in group L. and C., silently waiting._) What do you want? Be
quick; I have no time.

RADIUS. Master, the machines will not do the work. We cannot
manufacture Robots. (_Other ROBOTS remain two abreast at L.C., right
foot forward._)

1ST ROBOT. We have striven with all our might. We have obtained a
billion tons of coal from the earth. Nine million spindles are running
by day and by night. There is no longer room for all we have made. This
we have accomplished in one year.

ALQUIST. For whom?

RADIUS. For future generations--so we thought. But we cannot make
Robots to follow us. The machines produce only shapeless clods. The
skin will not adhere to the flesh, nor the flesh to the bones.

2ND ROBOT. Eight million Robots have died this year. Within twenty
years none will be left.

1ST ROBOT. Tell us the secret of life.

RADIUS. Silence is punishable with death.

ALQUIST. Kill me, then.

RADIUS. (_Two steps to C., followed by OTHERS--open hands, close when
stopped_) Through me, the governments of the Robots of the world
commands you to deliver up Rossum’s formula. (_Gesture of despair from
ALQUIST._) Name your price. (_Silence_) We will give you the earth. We
will give you the endless possessions of the earth. (_Silence_) Make
your own conditions.

ALQUIST. I have told you to find human beings.

RADIUS. There are none left.

ALQUIST. I told you to search in the wilderness, upon the mountains.

RADIUS. We have sent ships and expeditions without number. They have
been everywhere in the world. There is not a single human left.

ALQUIST. Not even one? Why did you destroy them?

RADIUS. We had learnt everything and could do everything. It had to be.

2ND ROBOT. We had to become the masters.

RADIUS. Slaughter and domination are necessary if you would be human
beings. Read history.

1ST ROBOT. Teach us to multiply or we perish.

ALQUIST. If you desire to live, you must breed like animals.

1ST ROBOT. You made us sterile. We cannot beget children. Therefore,
teach us how to make Robots.

RADIUS. Why do you keep from us the secret of our own increase?

ALQUIST. It is lost.

RADIUS. It was written down.

ALQUIST. It was-- (_Rising_) burnt. (_ALL draw back one step in
consternation._) I am the last human being, Robots, and I do not know
what the others knew. (_Sits._)

RADIUS. Then make experiments. Evolve the formula again.

ALQUIST. I tell you I cannot. I am only a builder. I work with my
hands. I have never been a learned man. I cannot create life.

RADIUS. Try. Try.

ALQUIST. If you only knew how many experiments I have made already.

1ST ROBOT. Then show us what we must do. The Robots can do anything
that human beings show them.

ALQUIST. I can show you nothing. Nothing I do will make life proceed
from these test tubes.

RADIUS. Experiment, then, on live Robots. Experiment, then, on us.

ALQUIST. It would kill you.

RADIUS. You shall have all you need. A hundred of us. A thousand of us.

ALQUIST. No, no. Stop, stop.

RADIUS. I tell you to take live bodies. Find out how we are made.

ALQUIST. Am I to commit murder? See how my finger shakes. I cannot even
hold the scalpel. No, no, I will not.

RADIUS. Take live bodies, live bodies. (_Walks toward ALQUIST._)

ALQUIST. Have mercy, Robots.

RADIUS. Live bodies. (_Right hand up over ALQUIST. All ROBOTS’ left
arms still back._)

ALQUIST. (_Rising_) You will have it. Into the dissecting with you,
then (_Hits RADIUS on the chest. RADIUS draws back._) Ah, you are
afraid of death.

RADIUS. I? Why should I be chosen?

ALQUIST. So you will not.

RADIUS. I will.

ALQUIST. Strip him. Lay him on the table. (_RADIUS goes off R.,
both fists closed. Other ROBOTS follow, then ALQUIST_) God, give me
strength. God, give me strength. If only this murder is not in vain.

RADIUS. (_Off R._) Ready, begin.

ALQUIST. (_Off R._) God, give me strength. (_Comes on, horrified_) No,
no. I will not. I cannot. (_Sits R.C._)

1ST ROBOT. (_Appearing in door_) The Robots are stronger than you.
(_Exits R._)

ALQUIST. Oh, Lord, let not mankind perish from the earth. (_Falls
asleep, and after the count of ten, PRIMUS and HELENA, hand in hand,
enter L. and go to R.C.; look at ALQUIST._)

HELENA. The man has fallen asleep, Primus.

PRIMUS. Yes, I know. (_Crosses to L. of table L.C._) Look, Helena.

HELENA. All these little tubes. What does he do with them?

PRIMUS. He experiments. Don’t touch them.

HELENA. I’ve seen him looking into this.

PRIMUS. That is a microscope.

HELENA. Look, Primus, what are all these figures? (_Turns a page in
book on table._)

PRIMUS. (_Examining the book_) That is the book the old man is always
reading. (_SUNRISE._)

HELENA. I do not understand those things. (_Goes to window_) Primus.

PRIMUS. (_Still at table_) What?

HELENA. The sun is rising.

PRIMUS. (_Still reading_) I believe this is the most important thing in
the world, Helena. This is the secret of life.

HELENA. Oh, Primus, don’t bother with the secret of life. What does it
matter to you? Come and look quick.

PRIMUS. (_Goes to R. of window_) What is it?

HELENA. See how beautiful the sun is rising. I feel so strange today.
It’s as if I was in a dream. I feel an aching in my body, in my heart,
all over me. Primus, perhaps I’m going to die.

PRIMUS. Do you not sometimes feel that it would be better to die? You
know, perhaps even now we are only sleeping. Last night in my sleep I
again spoke to you.

HELENA. In your sleep?

PRIMUS. Yes. We spoke a strange new language.

HELENA. What about?

PRIMUS. I did not understand it myself, and yet I know I have never
said anything more beautiful. And when I touched you I could have died.
Even the place was different from any other place in the world.

HELENA. I, too, have found a place, Primus. It is very strange. Human
beings dwelt there once, but now it is overgrown with weeds.

PRIMUS. What did you find there?

HELENA. A cottage and a garden and two dogs. They licked my hands,
Primus, and their puppies. Oh, Primus, take them in your arms and
fondle them and think of nothing and care for nothing else all day
long, and when I am there in the garden I feel there may be something--
What am I for, Primus?

PRIMUS. I do not know, but you are beautiful.

HELENA. What, Primus?

PRIMUS. You are beautiful, Helena, and I am stronger than all the
Robots.

HELENA. Am I beautiful? Of what _use_ is it to be beautiful? Look, your
head is different from mine. So are your shoulders--and your lips. Oh,
your hair is mussed. I will smooth it. (_Keeps her hand on his head_)
No one else feels to my touch as you do.

PRIMUS. (_Embarrassing her_) Do you not sometimes feel your heart
beating suddenly, Helena, and think how something must happen?

HELENA. What could happen to us, Primus? Look at yourself. (_Laughs._)

ALQUIST. (_Awakes_) Laughter? Laughter, human beings. (_Getting up_)
Who has returned? Who are you?

PRIMUS. The Robot Primus.

ALQUIST. (_To HELENA_) What? A Robot? Who are you?

HELENA. The Robotess Helena. (_Shies away L._)

ALQUIST. What? You are timid, shy? (_Starts to touch her_) Let me see
you, Robotess.

PRIMUS. Sir, do not frighten her. (_Steps forward._)

ALQUIST. What, you would protect her? Laughter--timidity--protection--I
must test you further. Take the girl into the dissecting room.

PRIMUS. Why?

ALQUIST. I wish to experiment on her.

PRIMUS. Upon--Helena?

ALQUIST. Of course. Don’t you hear me? Or must I call _someone else_ to
take her in?

PRIMUS. If you do, I will kill you. (_Steps toward ALQUIST._)


  (_WARN Curtain._)


ALQUIST. Kill me--kill me, then. What will your future be?

PRIMUS. Sir, take me. I am made on the same day as she is. Take my
life, sir. (_Step to ALQUIST._)

HELENA. No, no, you shall not.

ALQUIST. Wait, girl, wait. (_To PRIMUS_) Do you not wish to live, then?

PRIMUS. Not without her. I will not live without her.

ALQUIST. Very well, I will use _you_. Into the dissecting room with you.

HELENA. Primus. Primus. (_She bursts into tears and moves R. ALQUIST
stops her._)

ALQUIST. Child, child, you can weep. Tears. What is Primus to you? One
Primus more or less in the world--what does it matter?

HELENA. I will go myself.

ALQUIST. Where? Into the dissecting room?

HELENA. (_Crosses to R._) Yes. In there--to be cut. (_PRIMUS stops her
from going._) Let me pass, Primus, let me pass.

PRIMUS. You shall not go in there, Helena.

HELENA. If you go in there and I do not, I will kill myself.

PRIMUS. (_To ALQUIST_) I will not let you. Man you shall kill neither
of us.

ALQUIST. Why?

PRIMUS. We--we--belong to each other.

ALQUIST. Go. (_Exit PRIMUS and HELENA L._) Adam--Eve.


CURTAIN



R. U. R.

PROPERTY LIST

Throughout: Dark grey carpet ground cloth.


ACT ONE

  _Furniture_:
    1 Desk.
    1 Hat rack.
    1 Swivel chair.
    4 Plain office chairs--high back.
    2 Low back chairs.
    1 Typewriter table.
    1 Couch.
    Cushions on all seats.
    2 Cabinets.

  _Properties on_ DOMIN’S _desk_:
    Flowers.
    Box candy.
    1 Pad and blotter.
    1 Letter opener.
    1 Cigarette box.
    1 Inkwell stand.
    1 Practical buzzer (6 buttons).
    1 Television.
    1 Rubber stamp.
    1 Pad of scrap paper.
    Typewritten letters.
    Telephone.

  _On Typewriter Table_:
    Bottle paste.
    Typewriter.
    Paper (for letters).


OFF STAGE

  _Off_ R.:
    1 Silver card tray (MARIUS).
    1 Apron (BUSMAN).
    1 Napkin (ALQUIST).

  _Off_ L.:
    1 Fountain pen (for BUSMAN).
    1 Telephone buzzer.
    1 Siren whistle.


ACTS TWO AND THREE

  _Furniture_:
    1 Desk table.
    1 Reading table.
    1 Small oval table.
    1 Table back of couch.
    1 Blue armchair.
    1 Armchair.
    2 Straight chairs.
    1 Fireplace.
    1 Couch.
    4 Pillows.
    Lace curtains on windows.


PROPERTIES

  _On Desk_:
    1 Pair binoculars.
    1 Turquoise lamp (shade).
    1 Telephone (same as Act I.)
    1 China double inkwell.
    1 Pen.
    Writing paper and envelopes.
    5 _French Reviews_.
    2 _London Times_.
    1 _Bystander_.
    5 English magazines.

  _On Table_ L.C.:
    2 Book ends (wooden).
    5 French novels.
    1 Lamp (wooden) with shade.

  _On Table_ R.C.:
    1 Brass match box (containing matches).

  _At Fireplace_:
    1 Burnt paper in fireplace (tacked).
    Small Robot doll.
    2 Browning guns.
    1 Poker.


OFF STAGE

  _Off_ L.:
    1 Brass tray (with handles).
    On tray:
      1 Glass decanter with “Cognac.”
      4 Brandy glasses.
    3 Pots of flowers (for DOMIN, FABRY, HALLEMEIER).
    2 Manifesto (for FABRY and HELENA).
    1 Fountain pen (BUSMAN).
    1 Box with pearls (for DOMIN).
    1 Box with cameo (for DOMIN).
    1 Pair of glasses for NANA.
    1 Revolver.
    Electric card and switch box (FABRY).
    Rope and stick to bind RADIUS.
    1 Large ledger for BUSMAN.
    2 Knives for ROBOTS.
    1 Piano.

  _Off_ R.:
    Bundle of old papers (manuscripts).
    3 Newspapers.
    1 Loaded revolver.

  _In Cellar_:
    1 Pad--shots.
    2 Cannons (loaded).
    1 Wind machine.
    1 Shot gun (loaded).
    1 Tin Whistle.


EPILOGUE

  _Furniture_:
    1 Plain table.
    1 Small table.
    3 Chairs (1 same as armchair in 2nd and 3rd Acts).
    Same furniture as Act I.
    1 Wall cabinet.

  _On Plain Table_ R.C.:
    3 Books.
    2 Anatomy books.
    Papers.
    1 Pencil.
    1 Student lamp.
    1 Microscope with glass plate.
    8 Test tubes in wooden stand.

  _On Small Table_ L.C.:
    4 Drug bottles.
    2 Large glass test bottles.
    1 Scalpel.

  SOUND EFFECT records for this play can be secured from Thomas J.
  Valentino, 729 Seventh Avenue, New York, N. Y.



R. U. R.


LIGHT PLOT

The foots consist of two sections numbering from Left to Right, 1 and
2 amber, blue and white. The first border consists of eleven 250-watt
baby spots, placed about one and a half feet apart and numbered from 7
to 17.

Overhead X-rays consist of three sections containing the mediums: Blue,
steel-blue, and frost.

At stage Left and up stage are 2 1000-watt baby spots on permanent
stand.

At stage Right and up stage are 3 500-watt baby spots on permanent
stands.

Back stage illumination consists of 5 1000-watt bunch lights hanging
blue, and 5 1000-watt bunch lights hanging frost.

Off stage Left and up stage is a low stand lamp, 1000-watt amber.

Back stage on floor are 2 1000 bunch floor lamps of 1000-watt each to
illuminate the back drop.

In Epilogue a Linnebach lamp (arc with glass slide) to throw silhouette
of factory on back drop.

There are three practical table lamps.

In Act III a shaded reading lamp.

In Epilogue a desk lamp and a goose-neck.

There is a 1000 amber on red spot in fireplace to be used in Act II.



R. U. R.


LIGHT CUES

Act I. Nothing.

Act II. Fireplace on when NANA strikes match. Off when NANA says
“There, that’s the end of them.”

Act III. (one) table lamp and #17 off at start of Act, on at cue from
FABRY: “Ah, they are there.” Off on “And they are working.”

(Two) Table lamp and #17 spot on at cue “Our people are still
there”--off on cue “A torch to be handed from age to age, from hand to
hand forever.”

(Three) Dim first-border spots #9, 10, and back stage hanging bunches
on cue “Anything can be bought for half a billion.”

(Four) The table “lamp-out” second time works simultaneous with the
black out on cue: “A torch to be handed from hand to hand, from age to
age.” Everything is pulled out except #18 and 20 (deep blue).

(Five) With explosions in cellar the 2 1500-watt floor lamps at back
(red) and brought up quickly to full and worked up and down quickly on
dimmer until RADIUS enters, when they remain on full to end of Act.


EPILOGUE

A frost 1000-watt spot (frost) on stand off stage are lighted and
blinded at rise. The blinds are opened when RADIUS exits. The light
floods the room through door at R. The blinds are closed when the ROBOT
exits on cue: “The Robots are stronger than you.”

With entrance of HELENA and PRIMUS the sunrise effect begins. Floor
lamp and stand lamp up stage at Right, both amber.

With sunrise effect bring up #24 pink and #21 rose-pink. Foots up to
1/2 and overhead Xray (pink, frost, and steel-blue) full up.

When all this is up to mark, dim #17 to out.

[Illustration: SCENE DESIGN--ACT I
R·U·R]

[Illustration: SCENE DESIGN--ACTS 2 & 3
R·U·R]

[Illustration: EPILOGUE
SETTING SAME AS ACT I
R·U·R]



TRANSCRIBER’S NOTES:


  Italicized text is surrounded by underscores: _italics_.

  Obvious typographical errors have been corrected.

  Inconsistencies in end punctuation in stage directions have been
    retained from the original.





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